The Mediterranean diet is an healthy eating plan originally inspired by the traditional dietary patterns of Mediterranean Basin. This diet is also a delicious way to eat. Many people who switch to this style of eating say they’ll never eat any other way.
The principal aspects of this diet include:
- proportionally high consumption of olive oil, legumes, unrefined cereals, fruits and vegetables
- high consumption of fish
- moderate consumption of dairy products (mostly as cheese and yogurt),
- low consumption of meat and meat products
- moderate wine and alcoholic drinks consumption
So, this diet emphasizes abundant plant foods; fresh fruit as the typical daily dessert; olive oil as the principal source of fat; herbs and spices instead of salt to flavor foods; dairy products (principally cheese and yogurt); fish and poultry consumed in low to moderate amounts; zero to four eggs consumed weekly; red meat consumed in low amounts; wine and alcoholic drinks consumed in low to moderate amounts. Of course, with no consumption of OGM products.
Research has shown that the traditional Mediterranean diet, in addition to regular physical activity, reduces the risk of heart disease. In fact, an analysis of more than 1.5 million healthy adults demonstrated that following a Mediterranean diet was associated with a reduced risk of death from heart disease and cancer, as well as a reduced incidence of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases.
On December 4, 2013, UNESCO recognized, during its meeting in Baku, this diet pattern as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Italy, Portugal, Spain, Morocco, Greece, Cyprus and Croatia.