The term "Mediterranean diet" was coined in the middle of the 20th century. This term is not a diet in the conventional sense of the word. This expression refers to the traditional way of eating followed by people living in the Mediterranean.
In the diet of the population of this region, there is traditionally a large amount of vegetables, herbs and fruits, fish and seafood, moderate consumption of meat and poultry, cheeses, dairy products, wine, and olive oil is actively used.
A diet rich in olive oil and raw vegetables has been linked to lower mortality.
The Mediterranean diet prevents the shortening of telomeres, the ends of chromosomes responsible for lifespan.
The Mediterranean diet has been linked to a reduced risk of diabetes, neurodegenerative, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.
Adhering to the Mediterranean diet can significantly slow down aging. It allows you to reduce the level of C-reactive protein, one of the main inflammatory markers associated with the aging process. Another positive effect of this diet is associated with slowing down bone loss and the development of osteoporosis.
The low incidence of cardiovascular disease and cancer among the population of the Mediterranean region, associated with dietary habits, was discovered in the 1950s.
A distinctive feature of the Mediterranean diet is a large amount of consumed fruits, vegetables, legumes, herbs, nuts, fish and seafood. But the main distinguishing culinary feature is the regular use of olive oil.
Olive oil has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties due to its content of omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and omega 9 monounsaturated fatty acids (oleic acid) and phenolic compounds.
In countries such as Spain, Greece and Italy, where olive oil is the main source of fat in cooking, the incidence of cancer, cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases is lower than in the Nordic countries.
A Mediterranean diet rich in olive oil improves major risk factors for cardiovascular disease such as blood lipid profile, blood pressure, glucose metabolism, and blood antithrombotic properties.
The protective effect of olive oil may be most important in the first decades of life. It is suggested that olive oil consumption should be started before puberty and continued throughout life.
The Mediterranean diet is a model for healthy eating, as the historical experience of the Mediterranean culinary traditions is associated with the good health of the population living in this region.
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