The Mediterranean diet has fascinated the public since it became famous more than a decade ago, as one of the healthiest diets, and researchers continue to study it, hoping to understand the science behind it. First publicised by an American doctor stationed in Italy during World War II, the diet became famous after a Harvard study was published in 1995.
The traditional diet, native to the countries of the Mediterranean areas, is characterised by a high intake of fresh fruit, vegetables, grains, nuts, cereals and fish and a low intake of meats, especially red, with olive oil as the principal source of fat, and of course the moderate and daily intake of wine, usually red, during meals.
Past studies have found a positive association between sticking closely to the eating regimen and increasing life expectancy, as well as lowering the risk of debilitating diseases such as type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer's disease.
The importance of Mediterranean diet was recognized by UNESCO in 2011 as part of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.