Characteristics of the Mediterranean Diet

The Mediterranean Diet is a healthy option, given the variety and consumption of products of vegetable origin, their vitamin content, and the provision of cereals and olive oil.

The following are the most characteristic aspects of the diet.

  • Fruit.
  • Vegetables.
  • Cereals, especially Bread, Gofio.
  • Legumes.
  • Olive Oil as the main source of fat.
  • Fish.

  • Meat and meat products.

  • Dairy products. Preferably low fat or reduced fat, fermented milk.

The most valuable part of the Mediterranean Diet is olive oil, rich in oleic acid and other constituents. It has beneficial effects for health, including the prevention of development of coronary heart disease, cholesterol control and the prevention of some types of cancer, as well as being a powerful antioxidant. Its use is recommended as the main fat for dressings and frying.

Another important feature of this diet is the consumption of cereals, which has been shown to have beneficial effects for the reduction of the risk of ischemic heart disease and some cancers.

The daily consumption of bread, pasta, potatoes, rice, and as well other foods made with cereals, is recommended.

Legumes, fruit and vegetables, foods high in carbohydrate complexes and fibre, have been shown to be efficient health protectors. The consumption of vegetables, fruit, legumes, and dried fruit and nuts is recommended. The regular choice of fresh fruit as a dessert is the best option, which can from time to time be accompanied by something sweeter.

Eating more fish is associated with a reduction in death through coronary heart disease. Eating more fish than meat is recommended, and it is better to choose “blue fish” for its type of oil (omega 3 fatty acids), with an enhanced effect that protects the heart. Red meat should be consumed in moderation, and as part of varied dishes or as a sandwich filling.

The consumption of dairy products is important for growth and development at these stages of life. This is why we recommend that they are consumed daily, in the form of milk, cheese, yoghurt, and so on, being sure to choose those with a lower fat content. Fermented milk is also recommended as it improves the balance of the intestinal micro flora.

Water is the drink of choice, and should be taken frequently throughout the day. During childhood and adolescence, wine, as a component of the Mediterranean Diet, is not recommended.

The choice of local, seasonal fresh foods is recommended, and they will be almost free from industrial processing. Cooked meals should be uncomplicated: grilled, roasted, steamed, baked en papillote (wrapped and baked), etc. Herbs and spices add flavour, and can be used to enrich dishes.

Healthy eating is very important for maintaining good health and avoiding illness. Taking some kind of regular physical exercise is vital and complementary to a healthy diet, as, among other things, it reinforces good health by activating and regulating the cardiovascular and bone development systems.


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