The Mediterranean


Mediterranean Gourmet Catalog

The Mediterranean Diet

Mediterranean Gourmet Catalog presents a special selection of Mediterranean products and wine that we advertise internationally. They are produced by prestigious family companies in ecologically clean areas that have preserved traditional methods of production. Our company organizes degustation and gourmet exhibitions and issues the Mediterranean Gourmet Catalog with interesting and useful information for connoisseurs of the Mediterranean and gourmet culture.

We will uncover for you the secrets of the Mediterranean diet, which according to UNESCO’s definition includes a set of skills, knowledge, rituals, symbols and traditions in terms of crops, harvesting, fishing, livestock breeding, conservation, processing, cooking, and in particular sharing and consumption of food. Dining together is at the heart of the cultural identity and continuity of communities in the Mediterranean basin. This includes the manufacture and production of traditional plates and containers for the transport, storage and consumption of food, including ceramic plates and cups. Women play an important role in the preservation of all the knowledge about the Mediterranean diet: they keep its techniques, respect the seasonal rhythms and festive events, and transmit the values of the element of the new generations. Markets also play a key role as spaces for cultivating and transmitting the Mediterranean diet during the daily practice of exchange, agreement and mutual respect.


The word “diet” derives from the Greek word “díaita”, which means “the way of life”, which the famous French Hellenist Anatole Baiy describes as “A set of habits of the body and mind, tastes and customs”.


Although each country in the Mediterranean sea has its own history, culture, geography, climate and gastronomy, there is a true unity when it comes to the Mediterranean diet, the influence of which can be seen in different recipes and products, but also in agriculture, production, marketing, culinary art and nutrition rituals.


The study of “The Seven Countries” is one of the results, summarized from the study launched by Ansel Keys in Minnesota in 1947. At that time, middle-aged men, seemingly healthy, were struck by cardiovascular disease. Scientists have asked the question: “What is the difference between the two types of health cases with middle-aged men?” – they looked at the different characteristics between them (risk factors) and the need to provide knowledge of the causes and possible means of preventing attacks.


Ansel Keys began the study from Naples, Italy, and analyzed post-war diets in the area. Together with his assistants, they give careful nutrition analysis not only in Italy but also in 6 other countries (USA, Finland, the Netherlands, Greece, the former Yugoslavia and Japan). By comparing his results with typical Western European and American meals, Keys concludes that the Mediterranean Diet is distinguished from them by their predominantly vegetarian diet, increased consumption of olive oil / olive oil / and reduced intake of milk (especially milk) and of meat. Health benefits include increased life expectancy and decreased morbidity and mortality from cardiovascular disease.


In 1975, Ansel Benjamin Kees, in collaboration with his wife, Margaret Kees, published the first book on the Mediterranean Diet, entitled “How to Eat Well and Stay Well in the Mediterranean.” The book focuses on the food of the four border zones in France, Italy, Greece and Spain, where research has shown that the general population had a low incidence of heart disease, possibly due to following a special diet, which is mostly low in saturated fatty acids and with a higher fat content and a higher intake of polyunsaturated than, for example, in the USA.

“How to Eat Well and Stay Well The Mediterranean Way”



In November 2010, UNESCO recognized the Mediterranean diet as a non-material cultural heritage for humanity.

“The Mediterranean diet is much more than a simple diet. It promotes social interaction, as nutrition together sets the foundations of social customs and holidays shared by a community, which gives way to a remarkable body of knowledge, songs, aphorisms, fairy tales and legends. The diet is based on respect for its territory and biodiversity and guarantees the conservation and development of traditional fishing and farming professions and of all professions in the Mediterranean communities “



In 1993, thanks to Oldways, the Pyramid of the Mediterranean Diet was created.

Oldways is a Boston-based American non-governmental organization that helps people reinvent and embrace the healthy, enduring pleasures of the “old ways” of shared cultural traditions.

Basic principles of the Mediterranean diet:   

  • Vegetable-based foods such as fruits and vegetables, cereals and legumes and nuts are consumed
  • Butter is replaced with healthy fats like olive oil
  • Herbs and spices are used instead of salt to flavor the food
  • Red meat is consumed a few times a month
  • Fish and chicken are consumed at least twice a week
  • Red wine is moderately drunk if desired
Image Credit: NC Research Campus.

Why does the Mediterranean diet work: “It’s not just food – but how you consume it”

Since the “dining together” typical of the Mediterranean diet is far from being merely an act of eating, its importance extends to strengthening the foundations of interpersonal relationships, promoting dialogue and creativity, and communicating the identity and values of communities.


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