Different diets come in and out of fashion, just like clothes. Others, instead, have consistently been highly recommended for their proven benefits on human health. The Mediterranean diet is the utmost example; it has stood the test of time and it is still considered one of the healthiest of all. Although each country presents its own food choices and traditions, recipes present a substantial overlap, therefore distinctive cuisines share nutritional attributes and ingredients. As a rule, the Mediterranean diet is plant-based, high in vegetables, fruits, legumes, and unprocessed grains while low in meat and meat products only a few times per month, and a reduced consumption of dairy products. These ingredients are bound together by olive oil, essential when it comes to defining the basics of the Mediterranean diet. Grains are whole or in the form of bread or pasta cooked al dente, which lowers the glycemic index. Minimally processed foods also provide prebiotic fiber, which promotes intestinal health. As an integral part and expression of the local culture, the Mediterranean diet is mostly based on home cooking using local ingredients.
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