Dieting: Mediterranean way is good for you and planet

(NC) — Eat the traditional Italian way and you just might improve your health and have a positive impact on the environment too.

The Food and Environment Double Pyramid model is a tool created by The Barilla Centre for Food & Nutrition (BCFN) and it compares the nutritional aspect of foods with their ability to be sustainable.

The pyramids illustrate that grain-based foods (such as pasta) also have a low environmental impact, which means you can eat and live well simultaneously. The Mediterranean way of eating is now considered to be one of the healthiest diets in the world for preventing chronic illnesses such as heart disease, stroke, cancer and diabetes – and as it turns out, it is healthy for the planet too. For those new to the cuisine, the Mediterranean way  is rich in plant-based foods (grains, pasta, bread), as well as vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, seeds, and olive oil, PLUS small portions of fish, seafood, lean meat, cheese and wine.

“Those who choose to adopt this cuisine can feel good about its environmental and nutritional benefits,” says Andrea Holwegner, a registered dietitian. “Although this style of eating dates back centuries, many are still unfamiliar with its benefits for both our health and for sustaining our planet.”

According to Holwegner “this diet is easy to adopt as it consists of foods we already enjoy, like pasta, especially when it is served with colourful vegetables, and just enough lean protein and olive oil to add flavour. And choosing multi-grain varieties of pasta such as the popular Barilla PLUS is especially smart because it's a source of protein, omega-3 and fibre.”


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