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Olive Oil and A UNESCO Registered Kitchen: Mediterranean Diet

Today, the most important factor in increasing the life span and quality is the adoption of a healthy diet and lifestyle. Mediterranean diet, which is the best model of healthy eating, is considered as the healthiest diet type in the world. Even UNESCO has added "Mediterranean Cuisine" to the world intangible cultural heritage list.  Thus, it became the first diet type to gain status as a globally accepted cultural heritage.

In studies conducted, various relationships have been established among the prevention of non-communicable chronic diseases (obesity, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, etc.) and a long-term healthy life, the Mediterranean Diet.

The Mediterranean diet generally includes a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and legumes, as vegetable protein seafood. More over olive oil as one of the important sources this diet. On the other hand, red meat, processed products and saturated fat sources are consumed low. Since the diet should be specific to the person, the Mediterranean Diet should also be adjusted according to the person's age, anthropometric measurements, physical activity and medical history to ensure the correct amount of food intake. At the same time, it is considered is advantageous. Because prohibition in Mediterranean diet is at a minimum.

Regardless of the type of fat in the diet, it can be perceived as a risk factor for diseases such as obesity and cardiovascular diseases due to the high calories they contain. However, smart choices can be made with the type of oil (vegetable), content (olive oil) and amount (personalized moderate amount) chosen for the fat group in the diet and quality calorie intake can be achieved. One of the most important reasons why the Mediterranean diet is considered to be so healthy is that its most characteristic feature is the olive oil content.

Many studies have shown that olive oil, which is the only vegetable oil source obtained without chemical treatment, is a healthy source. Olive oil is preferred because of its longer shelf life compared to dietary plant sources, especially with its monounsaturated fatty acid (75% oleic acid), its natural healthy components, phenols and antioxidants (tocopherols), which are obtained mechanically without being damaged by minimal processing.

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