Mediterranean Diet (MD) is a dietary pattern seen in the countries along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea including Greece, Italy, southern France, Crete, Spain and parts of the middle east.
Among the healthy diet patterns, MD has shown the greatest results and has become extremely popular among the researchers. It has also been recognized by government agencies in some of the leading nations, including the USA, ranking MD among the top healthy diets.
The story of MD came to light in the 1960’s when the legendary ‘seven countries trial’ was conducted by Ancel Keys and his colleagues. It was conducted over a decade and it looked at the health outcomes in men from seven different countries, based on the foods they consumed. The results were astonishingly different in Greek men, having significantly lower cardiovascular mortality.
So, what foods comprise the traditional MD? It is a predominantly plant-based diet. Since the Mediterranean countries are the leading olive producers, Olive oil is a major plant-derived fat in their diet. Green leafy vegetables form the bulk of the meal in the form of fresh salads. A variety of legumes, nuts (healthy fats), fresh fruits and whole grains are also included.
Due to the proximity to the water body, sea foods including omega 3 fatty acid rich fish and some dairy products are the key animal foods in their diet.
Try MD for a healthy heart…