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Whole grains in the Mediterranean?
on February 26, 2013
I have travelled all over the Mediterranean since the 1950's, 60's, 70's, and 90's. I visited relatives in Sicily in 1957, and conditions in their small town were still pretty primitive. Goats and chickens roamed the streets, people rode on donkeys, and women still carried baskets on their heads! The bread man made bread everyday, a large round loaf with a hole in the middle. Everyone ate this bread throughout the day, but it was most definitely not whole grain. It was good old white bread, and all of the pasta was made from white flour. In every Italian town and city I have ever visited, people ate white pasta once or even twice a day, and were slim. Yes, they eat olive oil, nuts, fruits, salads, fish, vegetables, beans. But also full fat cheese and daily ice cream. Lots of wine, plenty of walking. Not a whole grain in sight. Every time I read that the Mediterranean diet stresses whole grains, I wonder how this can be so. The Omega plan also pushes the use of flaxseeds in practically every recipe. I never saw a flaxseed in Italy, Greece, Sicily, Morocco, France, Israel, Egypt, or Spain.