The Mediterranean Diet is Healthy, US studies confirm that leads to longer lives and helps prevent NCDs

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dieta mediterranea sito unesco
Photograph: Nerio Baratta © 2010 by National Park of Cilento and Vallo di Diano

NEW YORK, MARCH 5 – The Mediterranean diet works. The benefits of this food regime have now been recognized by the United States. According to the US News and World Report, that recently reviewed 41 alimentary diets, American experts agree that following a Mediterranean diet – which was recognized as intangible heritage of humanity by UNESCO in 2010 – leads to a longer life and helps to prevent chronic and transmittable illnesses.

“This umpteenth recognition confirms the absolute lack of substance in studies that claim the harmfulness of food products based on fat, sugar, and salt,” said the President of Confagricoltura, Massimiliano Giansanti. His comment is in response to proposed regulations that would label and warn of foods high in fats, sugars, and salt. Giansanti also made reference to recent debates at the UN on the use of taxes to deter people from certain food. The policy would have targeted many “Made in Italy” food products such as Parmigiano Reggiano. However, the measure did not get approved.

The value of a Mediterranean diet was also included in the 2019 edition of the Bloomberg Healthiest Country Index. The Index analyzed the overall public health of 169 economies by investigating the unique factors present to each country’s population. Italy ranked second in this study after Spain, who in the 2017 edition was sixth in the world. The Bloomberg index judges nations on the basis of variables like life expectancy and certain health risk factors such as smoking, and obesity. Environmental conditions, such as access to clean water and personal hygiene, are also considered.

According to a study from the University of Navarra, certain alimentary behaviors can give insight to the public health levels of Italians and Spaniards. The study stated that “the Mediterranean diet integrates extra virgin olive oil and nuts in a way the reduces the risks of cardiovascular disturbances more than a diet based around low-fat foods.”