The Mediterranean diet is a dietary pattern that reflects a traditional diet specific to the Mediterranean region and encourages a healthy lifestyle. This diet is widely practiced, especially in Mediterranean countries such as Greece, Italy, Spain and Southern France. The Mediterranean diet represents a balanced and nutritious approach that has been shown by many studies to have many health benefits.
The main features of the Mediterranean diet are:
Olive oil: Olive oil is the essential oil of this nutritional model and is rich in unsaturated fats. The use of this oil encourages the consumption of healthy fats rather than saturated fats.
Fruits and Vegetables: The Mediterranean diet emphasizes consuming plenty of fruits and vegetables in your daily diet. This provides nutrition rich in fibre, vitamins and antioxidants.
Legumes and Grains: This diet emphasizes legumes (lentils, chickpeas, beans) and whole grains (bulgur, whole wheat bread, oats). These foods are rich in fiber, protein and complex carbohydrates.
Fish: The Mediterranean diet frequently includes fish, especially fatty fish such as salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring. These fish are beneficial for heart health as they are rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
Small Amounts of Meat and Dairy Products: In this nutritional model, meat consumption is limited and white meat or poultry is preferred. Consumption of dairy products is also limited.
Nuts and Seeds: Nuts such as almonds, walnuts, and hazelnuts, and seeds such as flaxseeds and sunflower seeds are part of this diet and contain healthy fats, proteins, and fiber.
The Mediterranean diet has been linked to many positive health effects, including supporting a healthy lifestyle, reducing the risk of heart disease, weight control, and promoting longevity. It's also thought that this dietary pattern may reduce the risk of inflammation and help prevent cancer, diabetes, and other chronic diseases due to its low saturated fat and high antioxidant content. The Mediterranean diet can be generally accepted as a balanced, delicious and nutritious style of eating.