Mediterranean diet as a sustainable diet model
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Fondazione IRCCS Ca' Granda, Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Milano, Italy
Dipartimento di Scienze Cliniche e di Comunità, Università degli Studi, Milano, Italy
Publication date: 2022-05-27
Public Health Toxicol 2022;2(Supplement Supplement 1):A2
The term “Mediterranean diet” refers to a dietary pattern typical of countries around the Mediterranean Sea, inclusive of seasonal vegetables and fruits, unrefined cereals, nuts, legumes and extra virgin olive oil as primary source of fat. Moreover, it includes a moderate intake of fish, dairy products and a lower to mild eating of meat, eggs, fermented beverages and sweets. A beneficial role of Mediterranean Diet has been shown on physical and mental health, and the risk of cardiovascular, metabolic, cancer and neurodegenerative diseases. In 2010, UNESCO recognized it as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, due to either health and environmental impact. Indeed, the ecological footprint is low and products may maintain a greater quantity of vitamins, minerals and other functional compounds, thanks to the consequent short chain food supply, meeting the criteria of sustainability and win-win diets. These nutritional patterns, geographically characterized, show evidence in the prevention of diet-related non-communicable diseases on one side, with a positive influence on the stability of the Earth system (reduction of greenhouse-gas emissions, pollution, climate change, freshwater and land consumption and biodiversity loss, respectively) on the other.
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