The Golden Pyramid of the Mediterranean Diet
The Golden Pyramid is sometimes used to define a 'gold standard' of healthy eating.
Health and medical professionals have used the pyramid for years so that anyone can look and see exactly how nutritional values of various foods can affect your health and longevity.
Originally, the Golden Pyramid was used to represent the dietary research that took place after World War II on the island of Crete in Greece and other areas of the Mediterranean coast.
At the time of the study, cases of chronic diseases in those areas were the lowest in the world and the life expectancy was also highest, even though very few medical services were offered at the time.
The studies indicated that the lifestyle of the population surrounding the Mediterranean region was likely the reason for the good health and longevity they enjoyed.
Amazingly, the people were poor, but their lifestyle incorporated the freshest and most nutritious foods which grew and could be harvested in the area. Plus lots of sunshine, fresh air and exercise.
The base of the pyramid consists of living a healthy life with exercise and abundant family time and rest involved.
The food part of the pyramid makes up the remainder of the pyramid and consists of fresh fruits and veggies, grains, olive oil, nuts, legumes, herbs and spices and seeds.
Olive oil is the primary oil used to cook foods rather than other, unhealthy types of oils.
The Med-population like to drizzle oil on fresh vegetables and dip whole grain bread into olive oil that?s been seasoned with basil or other herbs and spices.
The next rung on the pyramid features fish and seafood; the next offers poultry, yogurt, eggs and cheese and the very top of the pyramid (the least important to your diet plan) includes meats and sweets.
Even the meat and sweets aren?t disallowed on the Mediterranean diet, but recommended to be consumed in moderation.
An abundance of water is also recommended, and wine in moderation.
By adhering to this healthy lifestyle, obesity and all the chronic diseases which come with it can mostly be avoided.
Pleasure in life is also a component of the Mediterranean lifestyle, and the diet plan works much better if the diet is paired with reduced stress and making time for family and friends.
This is a huge part of the Mediterranean lifestyle and goes a long way in helping to develop a clear appreciation for eating delicious foods in the company of others rather than alone or in front of the television.