Leitura de texto em inglês para vestibular e enem (We are what we eat)

‘We are what we eat’ is an expression many people say in the United States and the UK. It means that the condition of our bodies is mostly dependent on what we put into them.  For example, if we eat lots of fatty junk foods then we will probably be overweight. If we eat too little, we will probably be too thin. If we follow a balanced and nutritious diet, we will be healthier. People often go through a lot of trouble trying to find that balanced diet. For the people of the Mediterranean countries, however, the answer should not be that difficult to find.

Although Ancel Keys first wrote about the benefits of the Mediterranean diet in 1945, it wasn’t until years later that it became popular. In the early 1990’s, Dr. Walter Willet of Harvard University, presented the findings of his research which showed that a Mediterranean diet is a healthy option. It is important to say here, that the term ‘Mediterranean diet’ does not mean that all Mediterranean countries have the same diet. One should remember that the diets of some parts of the Mediterranean are often different from those of other parts of the Mediterranean. Northern Italy, for example, uses more butter than olive oil in their cooking than in southern Italy, and Muslims in countries of northern Africa do not drink wine.

Dr Willet studied the food patterns typical of Crete and southern Italy. He found that if people followed the diet of these areas and exercised they would generally lead healthier, longer lives. Beyond his studies of Crete, Greeks throughout Greece have a very similar diet. The typical diets of these areas include a lot of vegetables, ‘wild plants’ and fruit which is often eaten as ‘dessert’. Dairy products are abundant as well, but more yoghurt and cheese rather than milk. Also, fish is eaten more often than red meat and wine is drunk in moderate amounts.  

Perhaps the most ‘famous’ ingredient of the Mediterranean diet is olive oil. Besides adding great taste to food it is also the main source of fat. Although that sounds like a bad thing it is not because olive oil is highly nutritious. Studies have shown that olive oil helps reduce heart disease. Aside from health benefits, some studies have shown that a Mediterranean diet also helps people fight the feeling of sadness.  

It should be said, however, that Dr Willet studied the dietary habits of the Cretan and southern Italy areas as they were followed in the 1960’s. Unfortunately, since then the diets of these areas have changed considerably. Today many people do not follow the same diet their parents or grandparents did. They consume much more red meat, eat less fruit and vegetables, eat more junk food and drink more sodas. More and more fast food restaurants are around, and with both parents working, many families have a harder time keeping the traditional balanced diet. Also, much of the food which we buy from the supermarket is not as nutritious as the food we get from farms.

However, as the Greeks say, ‘above all else, comes health’. Regardless of how busy we may be, we should all try and follow a balanced diet to keep healthy and lead more active lives.

Choose the correct answer.

1. ‘We are what we eat’ means that ...
a) you can tell a person’s personality based on what his or her diet is.
b) how healthy we are depends on what we eat.
c) exercise is more important than our diet.

2. The diet of Mediterranean countries ...
a) are all the same.
b) are all equally healthy.
c) are different from each other.

3. The term ‘Mediterranean diet’ usually refers to ...
a) North Africa.
b) Northern Italy.
c) Greece and southern Italy.

4. The Mediterranean diet refers to the diet of Greece ...
a) in the 1960’s.
b) in the 1990’s.
c) today.

5. Today people in Greece and southern Italy ...
a) do not eat as healthily as their grandparents.
b) eat more healthily than their grandparents
c) eat as healthily as their grandparents.


Answers: 1b 2c 3c 4a 5a
Referência: Code Blue

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