The Mediterranean diet, one of the most widespread diets around the world, is based on the consumption of olive oil as the main source of fat. Over the last 50 years, surveys carried out in parts of the Mediterranean, including Crete and southern Italy, have shown that the Mediterranean diet is responsible for the longevity of the inhabitants and the absence of cardiovascular and digestive diseases.
The Mediterranean Diet, rich in fibers, is based on eating healthy foods for the body, vegetable and plant foods. Vegetables, pasta, rice, legumes and fruits are its main ingredients, while food of animal origin is consumed in small quantities.
Olive oil, specifically raw, is used in salads and always at the end of cooking. Finally, in this model of diet, it is common to consume small quantities of red wine during meals.
An example of Mediterranean diet could be:
|Olive oil||the main source of fat|
|Fresh fruits, vegetables in variety and abundance||several times a week|
|Dairy products in particular yoghurt and cheese||several times a week|
|Legumes, plenty of bread, pasta and other starchy foods such as rice, potatoes and other cereals||in variety, but with a measure of daily consumption and at least twice a week|
|Fatty fish, poultry and lean meat||at least twice a week|
|Wine, when consumed||along with the meal|
And also don't forget that Olive Oil:
• Has the same number of calories (9.3 per gr) with any other vegetable fat.
• It is, together with avocado oil, the only vegetable oils that can be consumed immediately after extraction without having to undergo any further treatment
• It is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids: 60-80% oleic acid
• It has a very low content of saturated fatty acids ~ 14%
• It has approx. 10% linoleic acid
• Contains about 10% of the required daily amount of vitamin E in each tablespoon
• It has a high content of natural antioxidants and nutrients (eg polyphenols, flavonoids, carotenes etc.)
• It has a high content of squalene that actively regulates metabolism
• Does not contain water, proteins, gluten, carbohydrates, salt or other preservative
• It is absorbed by the body by 98%, while retains an important role in the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins
• It has an excellent digestion by the human body, while its fatty acid composition and the presence of chlorophyll helps digestive tract function, stimulates the enzyme pancreatic lipase, facilitates the secretion of bile and promotes the metabolism of endogenous cholesterol.