As a Mediterranean diet, we define diet inspired by the dietary habits of the Mediterranean countries, including Greece, in the 1940s and 1950s. The main characteristics of this diet include foods such as high consumption of olive oil, pulses, raw cereals, fruits and vegetables. In addition, the main food of the Mediterranean diet is the consumption of fish, dairy, red wine and, finally, the low consumption of red meat.
Over the last decades, the world scientific community has recognized, proved and documented, through a variety of clinical and epidemiological studies, the important role of Mediterranean Diet in both the prevention and outcome of complex diseases such as:
Type 2 diabetes mellitus
In 2010, UNESCO included the Mediterranean Diet in the List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, because “The Mediterranean diet includes a set of skills, knowledge, rituals, symbols and traditions about crops, harvesting, fishing, livestock, maintenance, processing, cooking, and in particular the supply and consumption of food.”
The pyramid of the Mediterranean diet
The Pyramid of the Mediterranean Diet includes 3 levels depending on the consumption frequency of these foods. At its base are the foods to be consumed daily in significant quantities, while at the top are those that should be consumed rarely and in small quantities. More specifically, starting from the base of the pyramid should be consumed:
Cereals and their products
(rice, pasta, bread, etc.).
They provide energy, are low in fat, help good bowel function and lower cholesterol.
Fruit and vegetables
They are a good source of antioxidants and many vitamins, while protecting against cardiovascular diseases and various forms of cancer.
Pulses and nuts
They have many fiber and vitamins giving energy to the body..
Protects against coronary heart disease, reduces levels of “bad” cholesterol, and increases “good cholesterol”.
They are a good source of calcium that helps maintain bone mass preventing the risk of damage. It is good to contain low fat.
Few times a week
They reduce the possibility of coronary heart disease because of the omega-3 fatty acids they contain.
They provide proteins of high nutritional value, as well as iron.
They are rich in proteins, vitamins and minerals.
They should be consumed in moderation.
Few times a month
It contains proteins of high nutritional value, iron and vitamins.