It’s easy to think of the falafel cart as the standard Greek or Mediterranean restaurant. There are actually very few restaurants or diners in the United States that serve Mediterranean cuisine, only about 14% in fact.
The History of Mediterranean Cuisine
While many of these menu items are often called “Greek” there are many different countries that border the Mediterranean sea and contribute to these restaurant and catering menus available around the world. These include about 20 nations total, all combined to create one unique culture and cuisine, otherwise referred to as the Mediterranean diet.
The Most Popular Mediterranean Cuisine
While hummus is the most popular item presented on Mediterranean menus, served in about three-quarters of those locations, there are plenty of other options available. Of course, you have falafels, as well as Greek or Mediterranean salads, and many other healthy options. One of the best things about the Mediterranean restaurant is the overall healthy nature of the menu, along with the healthful benefits of the food you eat.
The Health Benefits of Mediterranean Cuisine
Even more than taste there are many health benefits to including Mediterranean food in your diet. Especially as an adult, there is proof of prevention of many different diseases along with overall health improvement. A number of qualities of the Mediterranean diet are able to help with the aging process in many ways, for all adults. Some of the key health benefits gained from taking on a Mediterranean diet include:
- One of the key positive factors of this diet is the fact that it is low in saturated fat and high in monounsaturated fat. This is a helpful detail in relation to health guidelines that have been presented for years in the United States including the need to keep saturated fat at less than 10% of regular caloric intake.
- Studies have also shown that the Mediterranean diet can help adults prevent Type 2 Diabetes and improve overall glycemic control. With better blood sugar there is much to be gained in the long run regarding the risk of other health defects as well.
- Additionally, a study has reported that seniors who add Mediterranean foods into their regular diet have the potential to reduce the risk of dementia. Results of this study presented that a strict diet followed with the inclusion of Mediterranean foods helped to reduce the risk of dementia by over 50%.
- Finally, it was suggested in a study published by the International Journal of Cancer that Mediterranean food helped reduce the risk of breast cancer that occurs after menopause. The study shows a reduction of cancer cases by about 40% in those who follow this diet, indicating the potential of helping reduce the effects of estrogen loss after menopause.
While there may not be a great number of locations in the United States to find Mediterranean food, there are a number of benefits to be had from eating these items. It could pose an incredible health benefit to learn how to cook from a Mediterranean menu, or find a Mediterranean restaurant close to your home to help incorporate some of these foods into your regular diet.