The Mediterranean Diet

1756 Words8 Pages
INTRODUCTION
The Mediterranean diet can be defined as the combination of healthy habits practiced by the habitants of the countries bordering the Mediterranean sea, including Spain, Italy, Greece and the South of France. Each country takes a slightly different approach when practicing this diet, however, they all agree on two things:
Its link to good health.
Its main constituents: vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, beans, cereals, grains, fish, and unsaturated fats such as olive oil. It also includes a low intake of meat and dairy foods, as well as a moderate consumption of alcohol, primarily red wine. (1)
These are very similar to the UK’s government dietary recommendations shown in the Eatwell Guide, which offers guidelines on how much
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(3) In fact, for many people it is not just a diet, but a lifestyle that includes wider societal concerns to environment, due to its sustainability, public health and economy.

However, I would like to specify that when talking about the benefits of the Mediterranean diet, I am referring to the dietary pattern followed by the Mediterranean countries in the 1950s and the beginning of the 1960s, right after the famine of World War II and before the wave of junk food had overcome our dietary habits. Therefore, a diet containing a low, almost non-existent amount of processed foods and full of natural plant-based foods.

In this essay, I will explore the positive effects of the Mediterranean diet on health and wellbeing, supporting my point with evidence that focuses on three specific aspects: cardiovascular health, diabetes and longevity.

CARDIOVASCULAR
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Temple2 · Carlo La Vecchia1 · Giorgio Castellan3 · Alessandra Tavani4 · Valentina Guercio1
Estruch R, Ros E, Salas-Salvado J, Covas MI, Corella D, Aros F, Gomez-Gracia E, Ruiz-Gutierrez V, Fiol M, Lapetra J, Lamuela-Raventos RM, Serra-Majem L, Pinto X, Basora J, Munoz MA, Sorli JV, Martinez JA, Martinez-Gonzalez MA, Investigators PS (2013) Primary prevention of cardiovascular disease with a Mediterranean diet. N Engl J Med 368(14):1279–1290.
Camargo, A., Delgado-Lista, J., Garcia-Rios, A., Cruz-Teno, C., Yubero-Serrano, E., Perez-Martinez, P., . . . Lopez-Miranda, J. (2012). Expression of proinflammatory, proatherogenic genes is reduced by the Mediterranean diet in elderly people. British Journal of Nutrition, 108(3), 500-508. doi:10.1017/S0007114511005812.
Martinez‐Gonzalez MA, de la Fuente‐Arrillaga C, Nunez‐ Cordoba JM, et al. Adherence to Mediterranean diet and risk of developing diabetes: a prospective cohort study. BMJ 2008; 336:
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