THE MEDITERRANEAN DIET (1)
Virgin olive oil is the basic component of the Mediterranean diet.
These are its main characteristics:
1. Abundance of plant-based foods fruits, vegetables, bread, pasta, rice, cereals, legumes and potatoes
2. Eat seasonal foods in their natural state, always choosing the freshest
3. Use olive oil as the main fat, both for frying and for dressing
4. Consume a moderate amount of cheese and yogurt daily
5. Consume a moderate amount of fish weekly, preferably blue, poultry and eggs
6. Consume nuts, honey and olives in moderation
7. Red meat a few times a month
8. Consume wine in moderation normally during meals and preferably red
9. Use aromatic herbs as a healthy alternative to salt
10. Perform some regular physical activity to work the heart and keep our joints and our physical tone in shape.
The healthy properties attributed to it are based on the finding that, although more fat is consumed in Mediterranean countries than in the United States, the incidence of cardiovascular diseases is much lower. The causes of such properties seem to be in the increased consumption of products rich in monounsaturated fatty acids, present in olive oil (which reduces the level of cholesterol in the blood). It is also attributed to the consumption of fish, especially blue fish, rich in ω-3 fatty acids and, finally, to the moderate consumption of red wine (due to its anthocyanins and resveratrol). Wine is also associated with another cardioprotective effect.
(1) Source: Olive Oil Encyclopedia, Jesús Ávila Granados.