The ancient Greek word "diaita", from which the word diet derives from, means balanced lifestyle, and this is exactly what the Mediterranean Diet is; it is much more than a nutritional pattern. The Mediterranean Diet is a lifestyle, not just a food pattern that combines ingredients from local agriculture, recipes and cooking methods of each place, shared meals, celebrations and traditions, coupled with moderate physical activity, favoured by a welcoming climate, completes a lifestyle that modern science recommends us to adopt for the benefit of our health; making the Mediterranean Diet an excellent model for healthy living.
The Mediterranean Diet is a valuable piece of cultural heritage that from simplicity and variety has resulted in a complete and balanced combination of food based on fresh, local and seasonal food as much as possible.
There is no doubt that in the Mediterranean, when we talk about the ingredients of the diet, the trilogy of wheat, vines and olive trees, beans, vegetables, fruit, fish, cheeses, nuts, we must also add an essential condiment, perhaps a basic ingredient: sociability.
The Mediterranean Diet is characterized by abundant plant-origin foods such as bread, pasta, rice, vegetables, legumes, fruits and nuts; the use of olive oil as the main source of additional fat, moderate consumption of fish, seafood, poultry, dairy products (yogurt, cheese) and eggs, as well as small amounts of red meat and a daily moderate intake of wine generally at meals. Its importance to the health of individuals is not limited to the fact that it is a balanced diet with a varied and adequate supply of macronutrients. To the benefits of its low content of saturated fatty acids and high content in monounsaturated fatty acids and in complex carbohydrates and fibre, we must add the wealth derived from its antioxidant substances.