The Mediterranean Diet consists of a high consumption of basic ingredients such as olive oil, fish and red meats, along with a small quantity of fruits, vegetables, nuts, bread and other cereals, and a regular, but moderate, consumption of wine. It is the staple diet in countries such as Spain, Italy and Greece. Its healthy properties are evidenced by the fact that these countries have a low rate of cardiovascular diseases and general mortality figures related to the heart, and a generally high life expectancy in comparison with the USA. Researchers and doctors agree, based on epidemiological and clinical studies, that the Mediterranean diet is the most advisable to preserve one’s health and well-being.
The causes of seem to lie in oily monoinsaturate acids found in rich produce, such as olive oil (thus reducing the level of cholesterol), and fish (rich in Omega 3); and the moderate consumption of red wine, which is associated with has a cardio-safeguard effect. A suitable diet is not a medicine, but a way of life, the aim of which is to maintain healthy nutrition. The widely studied beneficial effects of ythe Mediterranean Diet provides a model for healthy eating which can potentially diminish the risk of contracting cardiovascular diseases.
Olive oil: The olive tree is cultivated principally in the Mediterranean countries and its fruit is the olive. Spain, Greece, Italy and Tunisia are the major producers of olive oil, which is one the fundamental pillars of this diet, due to its cardio-safeguarding effect, with a high content of phenol compounds and Vitamin E, converts this oil into a significant supply of antioxidants. Vitamin E works by preventing the oxidation of the cholesterol in the blood, diminishing the risk of arteriosclerosis. Extra Virgin Olive Oil (oil produced from the first pressing of the olives) is the best type of oil for this function.