Wikispanishfood editorial team
The Mediterranean diet, this cultural legacy that we share with the places in the Mediterranean Basin, is conceived as a delicious and healthy dietary pattern as well as a balanced way of life, which includes recipes, proprietary cooking methods, celebrations, customs, local products and various human activities. It could be summarized as being "our way of life, served on a table."
The Mediterranean Diet uses olive oil as the main source of fat; includes vegetables, legumes, fruit, bread, pasta and rice; and focuses on moderate consumption of fish, red and white meat, seafood, dairy products and wine.
This dietary pattern's health benefits are attributable to the type of fat used (olive oil, fish and nuts); the proportions of the main nutrients in recipes (grains and vegetables as the basis, and meats, etc. as the "garnish"); and the wealth of micronutrients it promotes, due to the use of seasonal vegetables, aromatic herbs and condiments.
Although this is part of a way of life, and people have been eating this way since ancient times, those benefits were scientifically recognized just a few years ago. Today, the Mediterranean Diet is considered one of the healthiest diets, if not the healthiest, as it contributes to people's physical and emotional wellbeing, especially when combined with physical exercise.
Mediterranean Diet Foundation
With a view to underlining the fundamental value that the Mediterranean Diet and its products represent for Spain and its industry, the Mediterranean Diet Foundation was founded in 1996 by the Association for the Development of the Mediterranean Diet.
It focuses on promoting the values of the Diet, its products and the healthy lifestyle it represents which, according to the Foundation, "is socially viable and respectful of the environment."
This organization promotes cooperation with other institutions, research centers, universities, companies, producers and entities, both national and international.
Its functions include drafting and updating the Mediterranean Diet Pyramid, which indicates the foods that form the basis of the diet at the bottom and other foods which should be consumed in moderation, in various layers, towards the top. There were some cultural and social changes to the pyramid, during its most recent update, which are closely linked to the Mediterranean Diet lifestyle, using a broader understanding of the diet. It also indicates the composition and number of servings of the main foods.