The Mediterranean diet: What do you know about it?
Published: November 29, 2019
The link between adherence to the traditional dietary patterns of countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea and reduced incidence of cardiovascular disease was observed by researchers in the 1950s.
Reduced rate of some cancers, chronic disease, and higher life expectancy have also been observed.
These similar diets have become known as the Mediterranean diet.
This is a dietary pattern or way of eating that combines diversity of foods, small quantities, textures, tastes, and food habits with culture, lifestyle and traditions, landscapes (olive tree groves), and food preservation methods.
Food habits include frugal meals, social eating with family and friends, using simple cooking methods, and taking time to savour food.
Physical activity, often through occupational activities with high energy expenditure, is integral to this lifestyle.
Other considerations include dependence on locally sourced and minimally processed food, and cultural festivals.
However, adherence to the Mediterranean diet lifestyle in Mediterranean countries has decreased with a comparative increase in chronic and degenerative disease associated with increased urbanization and uptake of Westernized diets.
While Mediterranean style diets are popular in North America, they are often higher in saturated fat, meat, and lower in complex carbohydrates, fibres, and fruits and vegetables than authentic Mediterranean diets.
Mediterranean diet composition
A key factor of the Mediterranean diet is its emphasis on plant foods: vegetables, fresh fruit, legumes, nuts, seeds, whole grain cereals, and olive oil as its dominant dietary fat.
Fish, seafood, poultry and eggs are consumed in moderation and are complimented with small amounts of yogurt and cheese.
Red and processed meats are consumed...Link to the full article to learn more.