Mediterranean Diet

In the list of UNESCO World Heritage


People living in the Mediterranean basin had never become conscious, over the centuries, to have a huge treasure: their diet, from the Greek diaita or lifestyle. Unlike the Eastern world, in fact, where some foods have always been considered beneficial in maintaining health, for western countries the concept of using a balanced diet as a preventive medicine is relatively new.

We must recognize the merit of Lorenzo PRADDI, an Italian nutritionist doctor, and the American scientist Ancel KEYS, of having guessed the positive effects of the Mediterranean diet in the prevention of different pathologies so as to offer it as an ideal model.

But what does the Mediterranean diet consist of?

First of all we must say that this nutritional model has remained constant over time and space and consists mainly of olive oil, cereals, fresh or dried fruits, fresh vegetables and fish, moderate quantity of milk products and meat, with many aromatic herbs and spices, all accompanied by a moderate consumption of red wine and infusions taking into account the typical variants of each Country (Italy, Greece, Spain, Morocco, Portugal, Cyprus, Croatia). If it is important to know which foods are part of such diet, no less important is to know “how” these foods are consumed. In fact, the common meal and conviviality are the basis of social customs of this geographical area and this practice carries with it a wealth of knowledge, maxims, songs, stories related to eating and passed down in the tradition prevalently by women. It has been about 70 years since KEYS defined the term of the Mediterranean diet; since then, several scientific evidences and epidemiological studies have shown its health value in the prevention of various pathologies in industrialized countries. This importance has culminated in 2010 when the nutritional model of the Mediterranean Diet has been registered by UNESCO in the list of World Heritage sites because addressed to the welfare of the person in its entirety.

Oil in the Diet

Nella dieta mediterranea la principale fonte di lipidi è l’olio d’oliva. L’olio d’oliva rispetto ad altri grassi animali o vegetali apporta lipidi in un modo assai più salutare: è composto in gran parte di acidi grassi monoinsaturi, e per questo garantisce una serie di benefici per la salute del nostro corpo
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