YES and NO of the Mediterranean diet

Much is said about the benefits of feeding the Mediterranean style if we seek to take care of health, however, the Mediterranean diet has undergone modifications over time and that is why today we see proposals that are far from the original healthy eating style. So, we show you the YES and NO of the Mediterranean diet.

The YES of the Mediterranean diet

The Mediterranean diet has its origin in the typical dietary behaviors of the Mediterranean region, which in the 1960s had one of the highest life expectancies in the world and rates of heart disease as well as other diseases related to diet were of the lowest in the world.

At that time, the diet consisted of fruits, vegetables, cereals, potatoes, legumes, nuts and seeds in large quantities, fresh fruit like typical daily dessert, olive oil as the main source of fat, dairy products (mainly cheese and yogurt) fish and poultry in low to moderate amounts, from zero to four eggs per week, red meat in very low quantity and wine consumed in low to moderate amounts, usually with meals.

In addition, the diet was accompanied by other healthy habits such as regular physical activity that at that time consisted basically of daily work in the field and cooking.

This lifestyle, with the aforementioned dietary patterns, is what can really benefit health by reducing overall mortality, cardiovascular disease, cancer and also decreasing the chance of suffering from Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.

This is what a Mediterranean diet represents : a healthy lifestyle in which food stands out for its richness in unsaturated fats, fiber, complex hydrates, lean proteins and a great diversity of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

The NO of the Mediterranean diet

Since the Mediterranean diet refers to the dietary habits of the Mediterranean region, many people consider that what is consumed in this geographical location at present is what can benefit health.

Thus, if the beer is of habitual consumption it is considered that this part of the Mediterranean diet and of the same form happens with the wine or other foods.

However, nowadays the population is increasingly far from what really defines the Mediterranean diet, because the behaviors that gave rise were those of the population 50 years ago.

Thus, today the population of the Mediterranean has “Westernized” their diet including more processed foods, sources of fats, sugars and concentrated calories of low nutrient density, and even if their geographical location coincides with the origin of a very healthy diet, what is now consumed on a regular basis is NOT part of the Mediterranean diet but rather of the western diet that can lead to diseases.

We must know the YES and NO of the Mediterranean diet if we want to benefit health with its practice, taking into account that the real advantages arise from the diet that carried the population of the Mediterranean in the 60’s and not today.

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