The Mediterranean diet, which, as this publication points out, is focused on reducing the consumption of red meat, sugar and saturated fats, incorporating more foods such as nuts and grains into the daily diet,
it has come in first place not only in the global index, but in three other of the ranking’s categories. It has been ranked as the best diet for healthy eating
; as the easiest to follow
; as the most suitable for people with diabetes
; and as the one of the best plant-based diets
In this assessment, carried out by a panel of 25 experts
made up of expert nutritionists, dieticians and doctors specialised in diabetes, cardiology and weight loss from a number of different countries, the Mediterranean diet surpasses the DASH diet, low in salt and high in fruits and vegetables, which seeks to reduce and prevent hypertension, and the flexitarian diet, a diet that aims to radically reduce the consumption of meat.
The Mediterranean diet contributes to the excellent health of the Spanish
Spain, according to Bloomberg's Healthiest Country Index
, is the healthiest country in the world
. And, among a variety of factors, the diet, which is based on a Mediterranean diet, is an integral part of the countries health. The study, which analyses the lifestyle habits of 169 countries
, highlights - in addition to the Spanish health system and excellent climate - the use of olive oil in Spanish kitchens and the regular consumption of nuts and grains.
These habits place Spain at the top of the ranking, above countries such as Italy -where the Mediterranean diet also predominates-, Iceland, Japan, Switzerland, Sweden and Australia.
The health benefits of the Mediterranean diet have been widely analysed. Among others, the Predimen (Prevention with the Mediterranean Diet)
clinical trial, financed by the Carlos III Health Institute and co-directed by a professor from the University of Navarra, has demonstrated through a clinical trial with a sample of 10,000 people (published in The New England Journal of Medicine
), that the Mediterranean diet has a positive effect on cardiovascular health
. Specifically, the study concludes that the incidence of ictus and heart attacks in people who follow this diet is significantly lower, in addition to reducing the risk of suffering arterial problems by 30%.
Intangible Heritage of Humanity
It is not only the scientific field that endorses the benefits of the Mediterranean diet: UNESCO, has also included it in its list of Intangible Heritage of Humanity in 2013
, in a candidacy shared and defended by Cyprus, Croatia, Spain, Greece, Italy, Morocco and Portugal.
UNESCO sees it not only as a way of eating, but also as " knowledge, practical skills, rituals, traditions and symbols related to agricultural crops and harvests, fishing and raising livestock, and how food is conserved, prepared, cooked, shared and consumed".