It is called the ” macromediterranean diet ” and is a diet promoted by Dr. Franco Berrino, a famous epidemiologist, who combines the macrobiotic food philosophy with the Mediterranean diet in the true sense of the term.
What does it mean?
In his book “Medicine to eat”, Berrino in fact returns to talk about the physiologist Ancel Keys, from whose research the Mediterranean diet is born. Keys is known for having conducted a study on 7 countries in which he observed the differences between diet and cardiovascular risk. He was the first to hypothesize that the diet of the Mediterranean countries was linked to a lower rate of cholesterol and heart disease. The Mediterranean diet as we know it was born from Keys’ research.
But are we really sure we are following the Mediterranean diet like the one Keys intended during his long stay in Cilento?
Berrino does well to point out that the Mediterranean diet according to Keys was a poor and simple diet.
It was the diet of a country that emerged from the war, and which therefore consumed poor foods such as whole grains, wholemeal bread from mother yeast, vegetables, legumes, fish and olive oil.
But above all, low in fat.
Few people know that Keys ate a similar diet, low fat and natural foods, for a large part of his life.
With the result that he died at over 100, his wife Margaret at 97.
For those who want to get an idea of the true Mediterranean diet, I recommend reading the book “ The Mediterranean diet. How to eat well and feel good ”by Ancel and Margaret Keys (Slow Food Editions).
You will realize that the diet we do today in Italy is far from the health diet according to Keys.
But let’s go back to Doctor Berrino.
THE MACROMEDITERRANEAN DIET OF DR BERRINO
Dr. Berrino’s macromediterranean diet is a diet that therefore starts from the origins of the Mediterranean diet and blends them with the macrobiotic diet.
That is, with a diet that consists of the balance between Yin and Yang, between foods that purify us and foods that provide us with energy.
Basically, the foods of the macromediterranean diet are grains, legumes, vegetables and fruit according to season, olive oil.
In short, this is the basis of the diet, but in the book there are suggestions of specific cooking, recipes and ways of preparing the dishes to get the best out of food from a nutritional point of view. Many recipes are conceived in a Mediterrasian key: that is, they contain ingredients and cooking methods of oriental peoples applied to simple dishes of our tradition.
Industrial foods must be excluded, or rather, those foods that are “processed” must be avoided: one thing is fresh fish or organic eggs or a plate of legumes, a breaded fish burger, a ready-made bean soup with additives, a packaged vanilla mousse. The idea is to return to the diet of our ancestors: attention to raw materials, seasonality, conservation and cooking methods, but also cooking containers.