The Mediterranean diet

The Mediterranean Diet:

How to stay well and eat well

Ancel Keys


The Mediterranean diet is the traditional diet of countries that border the Mediterranean sea such as Italy, Greece and Spain (the origins are Greek-Roman with Arab influences). This kind of diet costs of:

q       Lots of grain and wholemeal bread

q       Plenty of fresh fruits and vegetable (especially citrus fruit and tomatoes that contains lycopenes that seems to be another type of antioxidant carotene)

q       Legumes

q       Olive oil

q       Moderate amounts of milk products (especially yoghurt and cheese rather than milk and butter)

q        Fish and poultry rather than red meat as main source of high-protein foods from animals

q       small daily amount of wine (especially red containing  some non-alcoholic substances called phenols that seem to have antioxidant power)


These foods make the diet rich of: complex carbohydrates, fibers, the antioxidans vitamin A, C, and E (the body’s resource against free radicals), monounsaturated fats, and fish oil. Furthermore there is a good vitamin E: polyunsaturated ratio, and alcohol.

Many studies, over the past decades, (such as the Seven Countries Study),  have confirmed that people who follow this diet are likely to have a lower risk of heart disease and some kinds of cancer (notably colon cancer). 



The food pyramid is building blocks for grown-ups. The broad base represents the foods you should eat every day, the ones that should account for most of the calories you make use of. The pointy top represents the foods that you should eat only once in a while. The middle blocks stand for foods that you should eat in moderate amounts every day.

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