07 Feb Lebanese Food Is The Mediterranean Diet
When thinking about the Mediterranean diet, do you think about Lebanese cuisine? Lebanon sits squarely on the Mediterranean Sea, and the Lebanese have long known that the food they enjoy has everything they need to eat well and be healthy.
But there’s more to the Mediterranean diet and Lebanese food than just its nutritional value that makes it a healthy choice. The way we eat means as much as how we eat, that is, with relish and pleasure, shred with the people we love. Food and family are synonymous with the Lebanese.
Here’s what makes Lebanese eating, and the Mediterranean diet, so good and good for us:
Olive oil and healthy fats
Olive oil is a satisfying, delicious and healthy fat, and the heart and soul of Lebanese cuisine. Extra virgin olive oil is used every day, often beginning with used for sautéing, coating cooked veggies, and topping off Lebanese dishes such as labneh, hummus, baba ganoush, kibbeh, and all salads.
You can also get abundant healthy fats from eating plenty of nuts – pine nuts, pistachios, walnuts, and almonds – and seeds.
Fresh fruits and vegetables
The Lebanese love to stuff a vegetable, as do many others around the Mediterranean, from stuffed grape leaves, cabbage, and koosa, a delicious stuffed summer squash.
As for the salads, fattoush and tabbouleh are probably the most well known, and for good reason, but keep an eye out for malfouf salad, an incredibly flavourful, crunchy Lebanese coleslaw.
No Lebanese day is complete without delicious fresh fruit. Fruit reigns in the Lebanese diet, well-chosen fruit that is very simply served and enjoyed. Citrus is important among fruits, lemon especially for bringing tangy flavours, dressing salads and marinating meats.
Fresh herbs and spices
Cooking heavily with fresh herbs and spices places flavour at a premium, and there is less need for excessive seasoning with salt and fat in order to get Lebanese food tasting delicious!
Mint, parsley, and coriander, as well as many others, are all used in Lebanese cuisine. And what goes for herbs also goes for spices, as Lebanese food is packed with flavour that to a dusting of za’atar, sumac, dried mint, cinnamon, and many other spices.
Lean meat and fish
The Mediterranean is known for its grilled shish kebabs and lamb chops, but they are not eaten as frequently as the above dishes. In general, meat in Lebanon is very lean, but the Lebanese also love fish, from picy snapper with tahini sauce to pistachio-crusted white fish.
We might be told that bread is not the healthiest of choices, but soft, homemade or bakery-made bread can be a very healthy part of Lebanese food. Keep in mind that healthy eating is all about proportions, frequency, and the whole diet, and allows for Lebanese bread to play a vital role in the Mediterranean diet.
If you’ve resolved to eat healthier in 2022, then you can be sure that Lebanese cuisine will provide flavour and satisfaction, while being a far healthier choice.
Why not book a table at Libano restaurant in London, and find out for yourself?