This article is about the nutritional recommendations made popular in the 1990's. For food from the areas around the Mediterranean Sea, see Cuisine of the Mediterranean.
The Mediterranean diet is a modern nutritional recommendation inspired by the traditional dietary patterns of the coastal areas of southern Italy and Crete and other parts of Greece in the 1960's.
On November 17, 2010, UNESCO recognized this as a model food Intangible Cultural Heritage of Spain, Greece, Italy and Morocco, thus not only a fundamental part of their history and background, as well as a great contribution to world.
Despite its name, this diet is not typical of all Mediterranean cuisine. In northern Italy, for example, lard and butter are widely used in cooking and the oil is reserved for dressing salads and cooked lachanika.Sti North Africa, the wine is traditionally avoided by Muslims. In both North Africa and the East, along with olive oil, butter is a traditional staple fats.
The most commonly-understood version of the Mediterranean diet included a presentation by Dr. Walter Willett of Harvard University 's School of Public Health in mid-1990 on, including a book for the general public. On the basis of 'eating habits typical of Crete, much of the rest of Greece and southern Italy in the early 1960's, this diet, apart from "regular physical activity," emphasizes "abundant plant foods, fresh fruits, such as the typical daily dessert, olive oil as the main source of fat, dairy products, mainly cheese and yogurt, and fish and poultry consumed in low to moderate amounts, zero to four eggs consumed weekly, red meat consumed in small quantities, and wine consumed in low to moderate amounts. Total amount of fat that diet is 25% to 35% of calories, with saturated fat to 8% or less of calories.
The main aspects of this diet is high oil consumption, high consumption of legumes, high consumption of unrefined cereals, high consumption of fruits, high consumption of vegetables, moderate consumption of dairy products (mainly cheese and yogurt), moderate to high consumption of fish low consumption of meat and meat products, and moderate consumption of wine.
The oil is very characteristic of the Mediterranean diet. It contains a very high level of monounsaturated fat, mainly oleic acid, epidemiological studies suggest may be associated with reduced risk of coronary heart disease. There is also evidence that antioxidants in olive oil improve the regulation of cholesterol and LDL cholesterol reduction, and has other anti-inflammatory and anti-hypertensive effects.