The Mediterranean diet
The Mediterranean diet is based on “food patterns typical of Crete, much of the rest of Greece, and southern Italy in the early 1960s”.
It is “characterized by abundant plant foods, fresh fruit as the typical daily dessert, olive oil as the principal source of fat, dairy products (principally cheese and yogurt), and fish and poultry consumed in low to moderate amounts, zero to four eggs consumed weekly, red meat consumed in low amounts, and wine consumed in low to moderate amounts1".
The health benefits
No studies have been more conclusive in showing a diet’s beneficial health effects than studies on the Mediterranean diet. The Mediterranean diet has been recently shown to be 30% more effective in reducing heart disease risk when compared to a typical low-fat diet2. Furthermore, it protects against diabetes3, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease and cancer4, and strokes5. It lowers blood pressure, blood sugar, and triglycerides6, improves renal artery circulation7, and helps lose weight8. Recently, it Mediterranean diet has been associated with reduced risk of Type 2 diabetes9.
The way of life
Famous for its palatability, the Mediterranean diet couples healthfulness and indulgence, conviviality and simplicity. Inspired by centuries-old traditions, the Mediterranean cuisine is a cultural heritage of well-being, geniality, and sharing.
1. Willett WC, Sacks F, Trichopoulou A, et al. Mediterranean diet pyramid: a cultural model for healthy eating. Am J Clin Nutr 1995; 61(suppl): S1402–6.
2. Estruch R, et al. Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease with a Mediterranean Diet, New Eng J Med 2013; 368(14).
3. Martínez-González MA, de la Fuente-Arrillaga C, Nunez-Cordoba JM, et al. (June 2008). "Adherence to Mediterranean diet and risk of developing diabetes: prospective cohort study". BMJ 336 (7657): 1348–51.
4. Sofi F, Cesari F, Abbate R, Gensini GF, Casini A (2008)."Adherence to Mediterranean diet and health status: meta-analysis". BMJ (Clinical research ed.) 337 (sep11 2): a1344.
5. "Mediterranean Diet May Help Keep You Smarter - Health News - Health.com". News.health.com. 2010-02-08. Retrieved 2010-08-27.
6. Kastorini C-M, Milionis H, Esposito K, Giugliano D, Goudevenos J, Panagiotakos D. (2011). "The Effect of Mediterranean Diet on Metabolic Syndrome and its Components". Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
7.Trovato GM, Pirri C, Martines GF, Tonzuso A, Trovato F, Catalano D. (2010). "Lifestyle interventions, insulin resistance, and renal artery stiffness in essential hypertension.". Clin Exp Hypertens. 32 (5): 262–269.
8. Shai I, et. al. Dietary Intervention Randomized Controlled Trial (DIRECT) Group. (July 17, 2008). "Weight loss with a low-carbohydrate, Mediterranean, or low-fat diet.". N Engl J Med 359 (3): 229–241.
9. Bakalar N. (January 13, 2014). "Mediterranean diet for diabetes". NY Times.