Myrtis | Fine Greek Food

Mediterranean Diet

Almost all Myrtis products produced by Hellasco are part of the Mediterranean Diet. The Mediterranean Diet is a modern nutritional recommendation inspired by the traditional dietary patterns of Greece, Southern Italy, and Spain. The principal aspects of this diet include proportionally high consumption of olive oil, legumes, unrefined cereals, fruits, and vegetables, moderate to high consumption of fish, moderate consumption of dairy products (mostly as cheese and yogurt), moderate wine consumption, and low consumption of meat and meat products. 

The Mediterranean Diet consists of food patterns typical of Crete and much of the rest of Greece. In the early 1960s, this diet emphasized, in addition to regular physical activity, the importance of fresh fruit and vegetables, olive oil as the principal source of fat and dairy products (principally cheese and yogurt). Fish and poultry were consumed in small to moderate amounts, a maximum of four eggs weekly and only a small amount of red meat. A small to moderate consumption of wine was also considered beneficial. The total fat content of this diet is 25% to 35% of calories, with saturated fat at only 8% or less, of the total calorie intake. 

Although it was first publicized in 1945 by the American scientist Ancel Keys, the Mediterranean diet failed to gain widespread recognition until the 1990s. Objective data showing that Mediterranean diet is healthy, first originated from the Seven Countries Study.

The Seven Countries Study is an epidemiological longitudinal study that was the first study to systematically examine the relationships between lifestyle, diet, coronary heart disease and stroke in different populations from different regions of the world. It directed attention to the causes of coronary heart disease and stroke, but also showed that an individual’s risk can be changed.

The Seven Countries Study found that Cretan men had exceptionally low death rates from heart disease, despite moderate to high intake of fat. The Cretan diet is similar to other traditional Mediterranean diets, consisting mostly of olive oil, bread, abundant fruit and vegetables, fish, and a moderate amount of dairy foods and wine.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil is particularly characteristic of the Mediterranean Diet. It contains a very high level of monounsaturated fats, most notably oleic acid, which epidemiological studies suggest may be linked to a reduction in coronary heart disease risk. There is also evidence that the antioxidants in olive oil improve cholesterol regulation and LDL cholesterol reduction, and that it has other anti-inflammatory and anti-hypertensive effects.

Research has shown that the traditional Mediterranean Diet reduces the risk of heart disease. In fact, an analysis of more than 1.5 million healthy adults demonstrated that following a Mediterranean Diet was associated with a reduced risk of death from heart disease and cancer, as well as a reduced incidence of Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases.

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends the Mediterranean Diet as an eating plan that can help promote health and prevent disease. And the Mediterranean Diet is one your whole family can follow for good health.