The Mediterranean diet: does it have to cost more?

The traditional Mediterranean diet was rich in grains, plant foods and fish, with limited amounts of red meat

Adam Drewnowski

2009

Scholarcy highlights

  • The traditional Mediterranean diet was rich in grains, plant foods and fish, with limited amounts of red meat
  • The following foods, food groups and nutrients were said to be the essence of the traditional Mediterranean diet: vegetables, legumes, fruits, nuts and seeds, cereals, fish, ratio of PUFA to saturated fatty acids, and moderate alcohol consumption
  • Energy density of key foods and food groups in the Mediterranean diet was assessed using nutrient composition databases provided by the US Department of Agriculture
  • The only proviso is that the new Mediterranean diet needs to include more grains, legumes, nuts, vegetables and fruit, and less leafy greens and fresh fish
  • Higher nutrient density scores were obtained for fish, both fresh and fried, organ meats and lean red meat than oils butter 3ยท0
  • The Mediterranean diet provides a viable cultural framework to incorporate low-cost yet nutritious foods into the diet, notably pasta and beans, vegetables, oil, wine, dried fruit, nuts and seeds

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