The traditional Mediterranean diet is a rich combination of vegetables, fruit, cereals, legumes, beans and nuts cooked, dressed or garnished with olive oil. The diet also constitutes moderate consumption of milk and milk products such as cheese and yogurt. The people of the Mediterranean region include a moderate intake of wine too. Thus, the traditional Mediterranean diet believes in more consumption of plant food and weekly and monthly intake of animal food.
Studies have been ongoing for years to find the secret of good health enjoyed by people living in the Mediterranean region. The Mediterranean region is a cluster of more than twenty states. Each state has its own culture, tradition, customs, practices and food habits. In spite of these differences, every state was found to make use of olive oil and red wine, ate a diet of more plant food rather than animal and enjoyed an active life style. In other words, people in this region followed a traditional Mediterranean diet even though the preparation of food varied from state to state.
The traditional Mediterranean diet is explained through the Traditional Mediterranean Diet Pyramid. Apparently, intake of food products has been classified. Based on the nutritional value of various food products, it has been classified for normal, moderate and low consumption on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. The daily diet recommends vegetables, cereals, bread, pastas, potatoes, nuts, fruit along with moderate intake of dairy products like milk, yogurt, cheese and wine. Interestingly, an active life style has also been included in the daily diet. Weekly food includes poultry, eggs and seafood and red meat is recommended only few times a month.
Thus, the diet ensures good fat provided by olive oil reducing saturated "bad" fat from animal food. The traditional Mediterranean diet provides necessary minerals, anti-oxidants, low saturated fats, vitamins, carbohydrates, proteins, and other nutrients essential to maintain a healthy heart and a longer life.
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