Why Is Greek Food So Good For Your Health?
Dr. Konstantinos Zarcardos Has The Answers

By Beverley MacDougall

We all like to look healthy and feel good regardless of our biological age. One of the most natural ways to look our best is to maintain a healthy weight. None of this is rocket science; but the sheer fact that approximately 67% of all Americans are obese means that the simple message of balancing a healthy weight through out our lifespan is not a goal most of us will attain. We have been force fed facts by dieticians for years on how to eat a healthy diet but apparently given recent obesity statistics these messages have fallen upon deaf ears. Where can we turn to stop this epidemic?

Obviously; there are no quick fixes to the malaises in our society that contribute to our heavy population; but Dr. Konstandinos Zarcardos, a Bariatrics specialist in Queens, has some words of wisdom to contribute to the great debate raging over healthy food choices. Dr. Zarcardos along with his partner run the most comprehencive program in bariatrics in Queens. He is the chief bariatrician of the New York Bariatric and Laprascopic Group.

Rather than talking about what to avoid he explains why the Greek culture and diet are so advantageous to your health.

Here are some of the top reasons according to Dr. Zarcardos for why Greek cuisine is so healthy.

1. Because of the Greek life style Greeks classically love fish, broiled with vegetables.

2. Greeks love to use olive oil.They are proud of their home-grown olive oil.

3. You can't go very far in Greece without seeing an olive or a grape branch. A glass of wine at dinner keeps the heart going well. The studies say red wine is better than white.

4. A sense of pride for their wine, their oil, their seafood, their fishermen and their farms, translates into quality produce.

5. Portion sizes are also small in Greece.

6 Trans-fats are the enemy and the Greek diet has very few of these unhealthy fats.

7. The family style atmosphere of everybody sharing is also a key component in the Mediterranean diet. It's not my food it's our food on the table and everyone shares, which is inbred in all Greeks.

8. Greek mothers take pride in making their own food. Greek bread, for example, is healthy because it is homemade with the best ingredients.

So if we could all slow down a little and get back to basics we will enjoy better health. Attitudes of caring and sharing go into procuring the freshest ingredients. What's on the table, how it is made, and where it comes from, keep Greek cooking on track as one of the healthiest in the world.

Dr. Zarkadas' reasons for why Greek food is so healthy seem to resonate back to the ancient Greeks who believed in everything in moderation was key to a healthy life style. So, with the holidays ahead of us in the next few weeks let's keep in mind their wise words too.

(Posting date 22 November 2006)

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