Some diets come and go, while others stick around for years — centuries, even, in the case of the famous Mediterranean diet. This wholesome, yet enjoyable slice of food history has kept generations and generations of people in good health, according to reports. The impact it can have on humanity’s well-being is legendary, but what have experts actually said about the realitY behind it?
The history of the Mediterranean diet
A 2013 study published on the National Library of Medicine website traces the diet back to an area known as the Mediterranean basin. In brief, this was formed during a colossal reshaping of the Earth's geography, when the African-Arabian continent smashed into the Eurasian continent. As noted by the study, the Basin is regarded as the “cradle of society,” from which the ancient world as we know it sprang forth.
What exactly is it?
In 2013 Insider defined the Mediterranean diet as one that “includes plenty of vegetables, healthy fats like olive oil, lean protein such as seafood, and complex carbohydrates like whole grains and beans.” Within these boundaries are a huge variety of edible options, as we’ll go into shortly. Just looking at certain items conjures up images of bright sunshine and happy diners.
Why is it so beneficial?
The expression “plant-based” is everywhere at the moment, relating to vegetarian and vegan foodstuffs. This definition is actually predated by the Mediterranean diet! For example, Harvard School of Public Health writes that it is a “primarily plant-based eating plan,” which promotes key elements such as healthy fats, fish instead of items like red meat, and water. It also encompasses “daily physical activity through enjoyable activities.”
It comes in on top year after year
Our present year of 2023 has delivered big, if predictable, news for the Mediterranean diet. As covered by the press, it’s been identified as the planet’s healthiest way to consume for the sixth year running. U.S. News and World Report put it in the coveted top spot, thanks to the diet’s emphasis on fresh produce and its avoidance of pesky processed foods which can cause so much harm.