Mediterranean diet

History of

The term "Mediterranean diet" was first used by the American dietician Ancel Keys in the 1940s( 1).Since the mid-1990s, this power system has become one of the most popular in the world.

Despite its name, the diet is not a set of clear recommendations or instructions, but is a generalization of eating habits in the northeast of Spain, southern France, Portugal, Greece, Italy and a number of other Mediterranean countries.

List of

products The versions of the Mediterranean diet vary depending on the region and the list of products available in this region. In this case, the most healthy, Italian, version of the diet, the Italians themselves call " cucina povera ", which can be translated as "poor food".

It should be understood that the inhabitants of post-war Europe replaced red meat with lentils not for reasons of healthy eating, but because of total poverty. The same concerns a modest amount of food consumed - people simply did not have the opportunity to eat more.

The basic principles of the diet

The main aspects of the diet are the replacement of animal fats with vegetable oils( mainly olive oil), the consumption of large amounts of vegetables, nuts, legumes, uncooked cereals, daily consumption of fish and seafood.

The consumption of dairy products( milk, cheese and butter) in a typical Mediterranean diet is at an average level, the consumption of meat and poultry, just as of different eggs - at a low level. In addition, daily use of a moderate amount of wine is allowed.

Recipes of the Mediterranean diet

It is important to distinguish between Mediterranean cuisine and the Mediterranean diet. As such, the diet never meant specific dishes, since the inhabitants of almost twenty countries of the Mediterranean Sea historically prefer enough different food.

If the French, Spanish and Portuguese drink wine peacefully during dinner and dinner, then in Muslim countries( Egypt, Morocco, Turkey) alcohol consumption is limited to religion. The same applies to pork meat and a number of other products, including olive oil.

Health Benefits of

Long-term studies of the Spanish Universidad de Navarra showed that the Mediterranean diet reduces the risk of heart disease by 30%, and the risk of developing cancer diseases by 24%.In addition, this diet is useful in diabetes and hypertension( 2).

As for the loss of excess weight, the effect is not so unambiguous, since the diet does not imply recommendations regarding caloric intake and consumption of proteins, fats and carbohydrates. More often than not, the improvement of health occurred without losing excess weight.

The most important component of

, Ansel Case, was of the opinion that the most important component of the Mediterranean diet is the replacement of saturated animal fats with more useful vegetable oils and unsaturated fats prevailing in fish and seafood( 3).

Researchers note the fact that residents of countries on the Mediterranean coast conduct an active lifestyle, doing a lot of daily work and constantly on the move. In addition, they are much less susceptible to depression and bad mood.

Scientific Justification

Oleic acid in oleic acids( up to 70% of the volume) belongs to Omega-9 unsaturated fatty acids and is a powerful natural antioxidant. It improves metabolism and slows down the aging process.

Olive oil contains a high level of vitamins E and K, responsible for the immunity and energy processes of the body. Increased iodine content in seafood is important for healthy metabolism, and a large amount of vegetable fiber is for digestion.


The Mediterranean diet is a food system with lots of vegetables, seafood and vegetable fats. Despite the substantial benefit of such a diet, this diet only normalizes nutrition, but does not serve the purpose of getting rid of excess weight.

Scientific sources:

  1. Mediterranean diet, Wikipedia Article, source
  2. Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease with a Mediterranean Diet, source
  3. Does the Mediterranean Diet Even Exist, source