Mediterranean diet

A diet with moderate amount of fat and high proportion of monosaturated fat that provides cardiovascular benefits and weight loss.

Mediterranean diet includes fat mostly is in the form of unsaturated fatty acids (specifically, monounsaturated and omega-3) from olive oil and fish, vegetables, and certain meats like lamb, while consumption of saturated fat is minimal. 


The Mediterranean diet, includes more total fat than the diet of Northern European countries, but most of it is in the form of unsaturated fatty acids, specifically, monounsaturated and omega-3 from olive oil and fish, vegetables, and certain meats like lamb, while consumption of saturated fat is minimal in comparison. 

The diet consists of proportionally high consumption of olive oil, legumes, unrefined cereals, fruits and vegetables, moderate to high consumption of fish, moderate consumption of dairy products including mostly cheese and yogurt, moderate wine consumption, and low consumption of meat and meat products.

The Mediterranean diet, prevalent in many countries in the Mediterranean Sea area, includes more total fat than the diet of Northern European countries, but most of it is in the form of unsaturated fatty acids, specifically, monounsaturated and omega-3 from olive oil and fish, vegetables, and certain meats like lamb, while consumption of saturated fat is minimal in comparison. 

A Mediterranean-style diet could reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, overall cancer incidence, neurodegenerative diseases, diabetes, and mortality rate.


A Mediterranean-like diet may improve overall health status, such as reduced risk of non-communicable diseases, reduced social and economic costs of diet-related illnesses.

Has been shown to significantly benefit both primary and secondary cardiovascular disease prevention.

The Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular disease with the Mediterranean diet trial achieved a 30% reduction in major cardiovascular events, largely driven by reduction in stroke.

Numerous studies indicate a Mediterranean diet as an approach to stop hypertension and whole-food plant-based dietary patterns have a favorable impact on cardiovascular outcomes.
Health promoting dietary pattern components include fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and whole grains.

Characterized by a high intake of olive oil, fruits, nuts, vegetables, and cereals.

Associated with a moderate intake of fish and poultry, and a low intake of dairy products, processed meats, red meats, sweets, and wine in moderation.

Mediterranean diet increases gut bacteria linked to healthy ageing in older adults

Associated with optimal nutrient profile, associated with reduced all-cause mortality, non-fatal cardiovascular disease, type two diabetes, and overweight/obesity, and has demonstrated long-term sustainability and quality.

May be protective against cognitive decline in older individuals.

Consuming a Mediterranean diet, particularly with lots of fish is associated with higher cognitive function (National Eye Institute).

The Mediterranean dietary pattern has shown inconsistent relationship with mortality.

Combines several foods and nutrients that may be protective against cognitive dysfunction such as fish, Vitamin B12, folate, antioxidants, monounsaturated fatty acids, and alcohol in moderate amounts.

The Lyon Heart Study indicated increased adherence beneficial to cardiovascular risk (de Lorgeril M et al).

The Lyon Heart study documented a 72% reduction of myocardial infarction and cardiac deaths with a Mediterranean diet.

In a prospective cohort study of 1410 adults that adherence to such a diet was associated with slower Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE) cognitive decline but not consistently with the other cognitive tests (Feart).

In a randomized controlled trial among persons at high cardiovascular risk, a Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil or nuts reduce the incidence of major cardiovascular events (Estruch R et al PREDIMED Study).

In the above study it was an absolute risk reduction of approximately 3 major cardiovascular events for 1000 person-years for relative risk reduction of approximately 30% among high-risk persons that were initially free of cardiovascular disease.

Mediterranean-style diet is beneficial in primary and secondary prevention of coronary heart disease.

Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil results in a 40% relative reduction in diabetes risk compared with the control group in individuals 55-80 years (PREDIMED).

Observational studies associated with Mediterranean diet reflect good overall health.

Mediterranean diet is superior to low-fat diets for long-term weight loss.

Associated with better cognitive health and decreased risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia in observational studies

The Women’s Health Initiative observational study of 90,014 postmenopausal women showed diet quality based on a Mediterranean diet with emphasis on consumption of fruits, vegetables, fish, nuts, legumes, whole grains and intake of monosaturated fat, as well as avoidance of red and processed meats was associated with a lower risk for hip fractures (Haring B et al).

PREDIMED study- Prevention with Mediterranean diet- dietary intervention with added fat, mostly unsaturated, in the form of olive oil.

PREDIMED Study showed a 30% decrease in the composite end point of myocardial infarction, stroke, and cardiovascular death.

PREDIMED Study divided patients into three groups: Mediterranean diet plus all olive oil supplements, Mediterranean diet plus nut supplements and a low-fat diet:The olive oil and nut supplement diets reduced carbohydrates by 3% of calories consumed and increase dietary fat by 4% and improved cardiovascular outcomes.

AREDS Study: Among patients with a Mediterranean diet the lowest risk of cognitive impairment and higher cognitive function scores resulted.

Meta-analyses of randomized, controlled trials that included adults of at least 18 years of age; identified particular dietary patterns; measured outcomes such as body mass index (BMI); cholesterol scores; glucose, insulin, or HbA1c scores; or blood pressures.



The 80 studies included low-carbohydrate diets, high-protein diets, the paleolithic diet, vegetarian diets, low-fat diets, the Mediterranean diet, the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet, the Nordic diet, and low-glycemic-index or low-glycemic-load diets.



For all the diets included, however, the Mediterranean diet was the only diet that demonstrated significant and beneficial effects for all the parameters analyzed from body weight, blood pressures, cholesterol scores, and glycemic scores. without evidence of potential adverse effects.


Long-term adherence to a healthy diet, high in fruits, vegetables, legumes, low-fat dairy, fish, and whole grains is associated with lower risk of cognitive decline in older age.

A Mediterranean diet reduces risk of high blood sugars and diabetes, with emphasis on more high-quality monounsaturated fats and less saturated fats.

CARDIA (Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults) study included data from over 5000 healthy young men and women between the ages of 18 and 30 years.

Participants were assigned  a score for how well they adhered to 3 different dietary patterns: the DASH diet; the Mediterranean diet; and A Priori diet Quality Scorewhich takes into account higher intake of foods considered to be beneficial to health (such as legumes, vegetables, and fish) as well as lower intake of foods considered bad for health (such as fast food, desserts, high-fat dairy, and sugar-sweetened soft drinks).

Better Mediterranean diet scores and APDQS were linked to better initial scores in the cognitive function tests, while DASH diet scores didn’t appear to be related either way.

The 5-year changes in cognitive function were related to dietary pattern: those with middle or high a Mediterranean diet or APDQS scores had less decline, while a DASH diet was not associated with 5-year change in global cognitive function.

Greater long-term adherence to a Mediterranean diet or APDQS, but not DASH, was associated with less decline in global cognitive function in midlife.

There is evidence that a Mediterranean style diet can protect the brain from cognitive decline.



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