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Mediterranean Diet | Pyramid of Health


The Mediterranean Diet A Pyramid of Health

: The Mediterranean diet is a way of life, more than just a list of foods. At the base of the food pyramid there are many vegetables, a bit of fruit and cereals (preferably wholemeal). Going up, we find the milk and low-fat derivatives (such as yogurt) covered in 2-3 portions of 125ml. The extra virgin olive oil to be consumed raw without exaggeration (3-4 tablespoons per day), together with garlic, onion, spices and herbs, instead of salt, are the best condiments for our Mediterranean style dishes. Other good fats in addition to those of the oil are provided by nuts and olives, in one or two portions of 30g.

Towards the top of the food pyramid, there are foods to be consumed not every day, but weekly: they are those that provide mainly protein, among which we should favor fish and legumes with at least two portions per week each, poultry 2-3 portions, eggs from 1 to 4 per week, cheese no more than a couple of portions of 100g, 50g if they are aged.

Finally, at the top of the pyramid are the foods to be consumed in moderation: two or less portions per week for red meats (100g) while the processed ones (sliced meats, cold cuts, etc.) should be consumed even more sparingly (one portion per week of 50g or less). Finally, the desserts, to be consumed as little as possible.
Mediterranean Diet: La dieta mediterranea prevede che l'energia introdotta quotidianamente sia ripartita in questo modo tra i diversi nutrienti: il 55% deve derivare dai carboidrati, il 30% dai grassi e il 15% dalle proteine.

The Mediterranean diet is a nutritional model inspired by the traditional eating styles of the countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea.

: The first observational study on the Mediterranean diet, which became famous as the "Study of the Seven Countries", was conducted by the American Biologist and Physiologist Ancel Keys in which the diets adopted by the United States, Italy, Finland, Greece, Yugoslavia, the Netherlands and Japan were compared in order to verify their benefits and critical points in terms of cardiovascular health. The results of this study did not leave much doubt: the more one deviated from the Mediterranean schemes, the greater was the incidence of cardiovascular diseases.

The eating style identified by this study, and by many other research studies that followed, is based on the prevalent consumption of foods of vegetable origin such as cereals and derivatives (pasta and wholemeal bread), legumes, fruits, vegetables and extra virgin olive oil, and on a moderate consumption of products of animal origin such as meat, dairy products and fish.

The scientific literature of recent decades can help us to make assumptions about the reasons for the protective effect of the Mediterranean diet on health. First of all, the fact that this dietary style involves the consumption of low-calorie foods such as vegetables, fruits, cereals and legumes, which in addition ensure a supply of fiber that protects from the onset of many chronic diseases, and there have been numerous positive biological activities for our body by compounds present almost exclusively in food of plant origin. It is enough to mention two components that are fundamental for the prevention of many diseases: the properties of polyphenols contained in fruits, vegetables in seeds and extra virgin olive oil, pigments such as carotenoids and vitamins such as C and E that act as antioxidants. All elements of the Mediterranean diet.

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