The Mediterranean diet is a modern nutritional recommendation originally inspired by the traditional dietary patterns of Greece.
The most commonly understood version of the Mediterranean diet was presented by Dr Walter Willett of Harvard University’s School of Public Health. Based on “food patterns typical of Crete and much of the rest of Greece in the early 1960s”, this diet, in addition to regular physical activity, emphasizes abundant plant foods, fresh fruit as the typical daily dessert, olive oil as the principal source of fat, dairy products (principally cheese and yogurt), fish and poultry consumed in low to moderate amounts, zero to four eggs consumed weekly, red meat consumed in low amounts, and wine consumed in low to moderate amounts”. Total fat in this diet is 25% to 35% of calories, predominantly the healthier monounsaturated fat from olive oil, with saturated fat at 8% or less of calories.
In terms of consumption per capita, the Greeks are the undisputed world champions setting a shining example, with an average of more than 24 liters/person/year.