WHAT IS THE MEDITERRANEAN DIET
The Mediterranean diet refers to the diet of people living around the Mediterranean sea. It is based in the dietary habits of Greeks, Italians, Spanish and people living along the coasts of the Middle East; it is rich in fruit and vegetables and also includes legumes, cereals, rice and potatoes, poultry and fish, dairy, a few slightly processed seasonal food products and very little meat.
It also includes one core ingredient: olive oil, which is the main source of oil and it seems to be the key ingredient, due to its beneficial health impact. Its high content in monounsaturated fatty acids and antioxidants (vitamin E, carotenoids and phenols) makes it the most representative ingredient of the Mediterranean diet.
The beneficial properties of the Mediterranean diet have been acknowledged by all specialized nutritionists and scientists. Important information on its benefits comes from clinical, epidemiological and biochemical studies. The high intake in antioxidants thanks to fruit and vegetables, in combination with the benefits of the extra virgin olive oil and moderate wine consumption, makes the Mediterranean diet beneficial in multiple ways.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF THE MEDITERRANEAN DIET
In 2010, after a request submitted jointly by Greece, Italy, Spain and Morocco, Unesco included the Mediterranean Diet in its Intangible Cultural Heritage List.