The Mediterranean Diet is a nutritional model inspired by the Food models widespread in some Mediterranean countries (such as Italy and Greece) in the fifties of the twentieth century. It is based on foods traditionally consumed in these countries. The concept of the Mediterranean diet was introduced and studied initially by the US physiologist Ancel Keys , which it has demonstrated the beneficial effects on longevity and health in the legendary Seven Country Study .
Many peoples residing on the shores of the Mediterranean with great ethnic, cultural, religious, economic and political, which may have an impact on the quantity and quality of food. For this the identification of common dietary components has been a challenge for scholars. Given the wide variety of culinary habits of the countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea and their variations in the course of history, it was considered necessary to reserve the term Mediterranean Diet , in the strict sense, to eating habits associated with healthier outcomes in some parts of the island of Crete and dell ‘ Southern Italy at the turn of the fifties and sixties, ie those designed to Ancel Keys . And since the main fat intake of those social groups came from olive oil, the dietary pattern it has been extended to include the diets consumed in Mediterranean countries olive producers.
Historical and anthropological implications of the Mediterranean Diet have led the ‘ UNESCO to its inclusion by the 2010 strong> list of intangible cultural heritage of humanity of Italy , Morocco, Spain and Greece; from 2013 this recognition was extended to Cyprus, Croatia and Portugal. Currently the definition of Mediterranean diet has extended to many variations of the original, especially in the field of culinary practice in many countries that claim the quality of their cuisine, so as to include widely heterogeneous dietary styles, for which there are not many scientific evidence.