Mediterranean food pyramid: composition and consumption    Play Audio
Module 1, Unit 2, Level: Advanced

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Mediterranean diet habits

Mediterranean diet, health, food pyramid, composition, recommended consumption, healthy diet, disease prevention, olive oil



Mediterranean food pyramid: composition and consumption
The Mediterranean diet (MD) is a lifestyle with a protective of human health and the ecosystem. The first graphic representation of the food groups starts with the food wheel in 1970, later the food pyramid emerged.

The Mediterranean diet is based on the traditional cuisines of Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain and other countries of the Mediterranean Sea.
Dificulty/time required   Cultural heritage / international recognition   Cheap / affordable / expensive   Similar products / recipes   Food / Product at risk of disappearance   Flag of the country associated   Flag of the country associated   Flag of the country associated  
The MD pyramid is a tool for education and public health. It has different levels, where is shown in a graphic and in a simple way, the foods to be consumed and its frequency. The MD pyramid is adapted to the local and traditional food of the countries with this culture and habits.

The recommendations of this pyramid reinforce the benefits of the Mediterranean diet such as the prevention of cardiovascular diseases, obesity, Alzheimer disease, depression, and asthma. Mediterranean Diet is not only a food diet by itself, but a lifestyle that combines sociability, culinary technology, physical activity, along with proportion and frequency recommendations of food consumption.
Representative Products
Fruit, vegetables, breads, garlic, onion, nuts, seeds, extra virgin olive oil, cheese and yogurt.
The MD pyramid has more than 10 years, the information should be updated. Furthermore, the top of the pyramid should be removed, although the consumption of the products laid on the top is occasional, they are included and endorsed by the MD pyramid, a graphic without a top should be more realistic.

Another risk of the food pyramid could be misinterpretation. It is a graphic representation with specific symbols and numbers of recommended daily portions. Some authors proposed other forms of graphical representation as food wheel or the plate.
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