It is no fresh revelation that we are becoming an increasingly more health conscious society. We have an ever growing desire to lead healthy lifestyles. Just look at the amount of organic food now available in supermarkets, or the popular diet trend of having one or two meet free or vegan days a week.
While we are becoming increasingly health conscious, we are by no means willing to compromise on flavour, and nor do we have to. Lebanese cuisine is not only good for your diet, it is packed full of flavour too.
Lebanese food focuses on the fresh
Lebanese cuisine emphasises using fresh local ingredients which are packed full of nutrition. Additionally, very little emphasis is placed on frying food in Lebanese cuisine. Instead, the preferred methods are baking and grilling, along with raw ingredients, all of which are better for your diet.
Reduction of meat and dairy products
If you have a look at the menu in any Lebanese restaurant, or flick through a Lebanese cookbook, you may be surprised at the relatively small amount of dishes containing red meat. Instead, there is an abundance of poultry, fish, seafood and fresh vegetables.
This is part of what makes Lebanese food so appealing for people who observe vegetarian or meet free diets, as you will still have plenty of flavourful, healthy dishes to choose from even if you don’t eat meat.
Emphasis on spice
One of the reasons Lebanese food is not only good for your diet but also packed full of flavour is the abundance of herbs and spices used in most dishes. These herbs and spices are used instead of relying on heavy, thick sauces, which means there is a reduction in saturated fats.
In addition, many of the herbs and spices used frequently in Lebanese food have proven health benefits. Mint, for example, is full of carotenes and vitamin C, and aids in digestion, while parsley is chock full of antioxidants and vitamin K.
Olive and vegetable oil
Olive and vegetable oil are favoured ingredients in Lebanese cooking, and are used much more often than fatty butter. The Lebanese cuisine is actually Mediterranean– which means it also favours olive oil a lot – this is one of the factors that makes the Lebanese cuisine good for your diet. Although high in fat, the fact that olive oil has a lot of mono-unsaturated fatty acids, and it helps to improve the health of your heart, lower cholesterol and it helps control blood clotting as well.
Another well-known staple of Lebanese cuisine, Tahini is a sauce that is found in many different dishes, including hummus and baba ganoush. What makes tahini good for your diet is the fact it is made from sesame seeds, which have the highest oil content of any seed you could eat. This means Tahini is a great source of Omega 6 and is a great source of protein for people who don’t eat meat.