Residents of the Mediterranean Don’t Really Like the Mediterranean Diet

A Mediterranean diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, olive oils with only a little meat. Numerous studies have attributed lower rates of heart disease to it. Ancel Keys, a scientist from Minnesota popularized the diet with a pair of best-selling books. According to The New York Times:

The healthy versions of these diets do have one other thing in common: they are what the Italians called “cucina povera,” the “food of the poor.” In Ancel Keys’s day, Mediterraneans ate lentils instead of meat because they had no choice. “A lot of it is to do with poverty, not geography,” says Sami Zubaida, a leading scholar on food and culture.

The diet that Keys and his colleagues invented bore little resemblance to what Mediterraneans actually wanted to eat.

Comments (6)

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  1. Nancy says:

    This is a very interesting post. Here I was giving all those people over there lots of credit for being sensible eaters. Now it turns out that if they only had more money they would eat the same way Americans do.

  2. Devon Herrick says:

    One thing I find interesting is the “food of the poor” in post-war Italy was far healthier than the food the poor eat in modern-day America. Maybe it’s because food was scarce in Italy after WWII, whereas food is cheap now. Italians, Spaniards and other residents of the Mediterranean are gaining weight as their standards of living rises.

  3. Ken says:

    This is very interesting. Changeds the way I think about Middle Easterners

  4. Erik says:

    All basic staples are considered “Peasant” food. For me growing up, it was rice and beans.

  5. Rust W. says:

    I’m with the Mediterraneans. Let’s go have a cheese burger and fries.

  6. LosoMan says:

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