The Mediterranean diet is a diet inspired by the eating habits of Spain, Italy and Greece in the s. Olive oil has been studied as a potential health factor for reducing all-cause mortality and the risk of chronic diseases. The Mediterranean diet is associated with a reduction in all-cause mortality in observational studies. The Mediterranean diet as a nutritional recommendation is different from the cultural practices that UNESCO listed in under the heading “Mediterranean diet” on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity : “a set of skills, knowledge, rituals, symbols and traditions concerning crops, harvesting, fishing, animal husbandry, conservation, processing, cooking, and particularly the sharing and consumption of food”, not as a particular set of foods. The US — national guidelines devised a “Healthy Mediterranean-Style Eating Pattern”, assessed against and mirroring the Mediterranean diet patterns and its positive health outcomes. It was designed from the “Healthy U. The Mediterranean diet is included among dietary patterns that may reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases. The research concluded that Mediterranean, low-carbohydrate, low-glycemic index, and high-protein diets are effective in improving markers of risk for cardiovascular disease and diabetes, while there was limited evidence for an effect of vegetarian diets on glycemic control and lipid levels unrelated to weight loss. The Mediterranean diet is low in saturated fat with high amounts of monounsaturated fat and dietary fiber.
The Mediterranean diet is based on the traditional diet pattern of Crete, Greece and southern Italy in the s. It is different from modern cuisine in the broader Mediterranean region, which is gradually becoming more like the typical Western diet. The Mediterranean diet includes a high proportion of olive oil, beans, unrefined cereals, fruits and vegetables, moderate to high levels of fish, moderate levels of dairy products mostly cheese and yogurt and wine, and low consumption of meat and meat products. The following table outlines how much of each food group is included in the Mediterranean diet, based on a 2, calorie intake. The Mediterranean diet can easily meet recommendations of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans With whole-grains, olive oil-based cooking, nuts and beans at its core, the diet provides sufficient fiber, healthy fats monounsaturated and omega-3 and plenty of antioxidants. The following table compares the distribution of key nutrients in the Mediterranean diet with the Dietary Guidelines’ recommendations Dietary Guidelines for Americans for years old. Clinical trials and epidemiological studies have overwhelmingly concluded that the traditional Mediterranean diet is associated with reduced risk and incidence of cardiovascular disease as well as a lower rate of total mortality in cardiovascular disease patients Growing evidence also suggests it may lower the risks for type 2 diabetes 3 and other chronic diseases 4. The Mediterranean diet could be especially beneficial for people who are genetically incompatible with the modern Western diet, which is high in red meat, sugary desserts and drinks, refined grains and saturated fat. For example, studies have shown that the risk for high triglycerides associated with a variant of the APOA5 gene and the risk for type 2 diabetes associated with a variant of the TCF7L2 gene are reduced to normal levels on a Mediterranean diet 5.
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