The Mediterranean diet is a modern nutritional model originally inspired by the traditional dietary patterns of some of the countries of the Mediterranean Basin. The most commonly-understood version of the Mediterranean diet was presented by Dr. Walter Willett of Harvard University's School of Public Health in the mid-1990's. Based on "food patterns typical of Crete, much of the rest of Greece, and southern Italy in the early 1960s", this diet, in addition to "regular physical activity" (e.g. farm labor), emphasizes "abundant plant foods, fresh fruit as the typical daily dessert, olive oil as the principal source of fat, dairy products (principally cheese and yogurt), and fish and poultry consumed in low to moderate amounts, zero to four eggs consumed weekly, red meat consumed in low amounts, and wine consumed in low to moderate amounts". Total fat in this diet is "< 25% to > 35%" of calories, with saturated fat at 8% or less of calories. The diet is often cited as beneficial for being low in saturated fat and high in monounsaturated fat and dietary fiber.
Thursday, April 03, 2008