What is the Mediterranean diet?


What is the Mediterranean diet?
        It has already been known for a while that the people who live in Mediterranean countries
(characteristically in Crete, Southern Italy, Northern Africa)
and whose diet is based on olive oil and large
quantities of fruit and vegetables suffer from
coronary disease a lot less frequently than people who live in Northern Europe and
America, where their diet includes more animal fats.

Many conversations are taking place internationally on the effects of the Mediterranean diet.
That is mainly because it is considered to act beneficially against heart diseases, such as coronary disease.
In fact, foreign researchers from the United States of America,
not from Mediterranean countries, were initially led to this conclusion,
contrary to what one would expect. However, let’s take a closer look at the following:

* What is the Mediterranean diet?
* What are its characteristics?
* What can one expect from it?

In January 1993, the School of Public Health of Harvard University
conducted an epidemiological study to explain the much lower rates
of heart diseases (especially coronary disease) in countries of the
Mediterranean compared to those in America. The studies concerned the population of Crete,
Southern Italy and Northern Africa and they led to a correlation between the relatively
low coronary disease rates and the diet of the Mediterranean populations.

Even though there had been similar studies in the past (before 1960),
in this case it was possible to depict the conclusions in the pyramid
of the Mediterranean diet. This diet is the so-called Mediterranean diet.
It has the following characteristics: Abundance of plant-based foods such as fruit, vegetables, potatoes, cereals and legumes. Olive oil as a basic oil, which replaces all other fats and oils such as butter, margarine etc. Daily intake of small amounts of dairy products, such as cheese and yogurt. Consumption of fish and poultry on a weekly basis (not daily). Up to 4 eggs maximum per week (note that this number also includes eggs used in cooking). Consumption of sugar (which is present in desserts) on a weekly basis (not daily). “Red” meat (beef, pork etc.) only a few times per month. Physical activity (walking, movement in general) at a level that preserves a sense of daily health and well-being. Reasonable consumption of wine (usually with meals, 1-2 glasses of wine).

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