I had posted you a long reply but when I checked just now I saw it had not got uploaded. I do apologise.
You are right, many Greeks are overweight, even obese, but I think it is because they are not following the traditional Mediterranean diet any more. City dwellers in particular eat meat daily, cook with dairy cream and trans-fat laden shortenings (Fytini, Vitam), use seed oils for frying (and there's a lot of frying) because they are cheaper than olive oil. Frozen meals and packaged "convenience foods" have overtaken the supermarket shelves, fast food outlets abound and if you walk the streets in the centre every third person is munching while walking, whereas in the evenings you run the risk of being run over by an army of motorbikes delivering souvlakis and pizzas. Very few people still observe the abstinence from meat and dairy on every Wednesday and Friday of the year, the 40 days of Lent before Christmas as well as Easter, before 15th August and the numerous other Orthodox days of abstinence--even my mother-in-law who is of the old school only fasts during Holy Week. Probably only a few villagers on Crete still climb the mountains to gather horta and snails and get some exercise along the way. You are right, Greeks have the highest per capita consumption of cheese in Europe. But it's not all bad, they also have the highest consumption of dried beans in Europe and, of course, they top the world in olive oil per capita. This may offset the highest level of smokers in Europe (for women, I think the men come second). I am a great believer in olive oil. I use it for all my cooking, even much of my baking. A little goes a long way. When I cook beans, for example, I don't use oil during the cooking, but we each add a little to our plates so it's raw and retains its vitamins and full flavour. I've invented my own Bisquick clone recipe with olive oil. If I fry it's in olive oil. I also use real butter in baking for special occasions, e.g. kourabiedhes--but they are just once a year for Christmas. I don't have any margarines, shortenings or seed oils in the house.
I love all kinds of greens too, though I don't eat them as often as I would like to--I have a bad back and have stopped going to the weekly farmers' market, so I have to rely on Husband to bring our food from the supermarket.
Bravo for doing so well on the Fuhrman diet. I tried it a couple of years ago but I wasn't able to last the distance. You've inspired me to give it another go--I have the book.
Originally Posted by stamatiaa
Hello - My parents are from the Mediterranean. I see may Greeks overweight (or moderately overweight) even on the traditional Mediterranean diet since its high on oil (albeit olive) and dairy (espcially cheese), and often grains, and honey too.
Since you live in Greece, you should seriously consider eating the plentiful wild greens available - like vlytra and horta and stifno - every day (without the oil). They provide shocking levels of calcium and iron, with very low calories (if your not drenching them with oil).
I don’t follow the Mediterranean diet anymore because it kept me from my perfect weight. Instead, I follow the "Eat to Live" diet and lost the last 15 lbs and I feel I can follow this diet and eating plan for the rest of my life. “Google it” and you'll see the meal plans.
Even in the US, I go to Asian markets and find “vlytra”. Also, I love swiss chard, dandelions, kale and escarole.