ABSTRACT: Mediterranean diet is a modern nutritional model inspired by the traditional dietary pattern of some of the countries of the Mediterranean basin. At least 16 countries border the Mediterranean Sea. Diets vary between these countries and also between regions within a country. Many differences in culture, ethnic background, religion, economy and agricultural productions result in different diets. But the common Mediterranean dietary pattern has these characteristics: high consumption of fruits, vegetables, bread and other cereals, potatoes, beans, nuts and seeds, olive oil is an important monounsaturated fat source, dairy products, fish and poultry are consumed in low to moderate amounts, and relatively small amounts of red meat is eaten, eggs are consumed zero to four times a week and wine is consumed in low to moderate amounts. A recent study has once again confirmed that people who closely follow 'the Mediterranean Diet' live longer than other Europeans and Americans and the incidence of heart disease in Mediterranean countries is lower than in the United States. But this may not be entirely due only to the diet. Lifestyle factors (such as more physical activity and extended social support systems) may also play a part.
Harefuah 06/2008; 147(5):422-7, 477.