The Mediterranean Diet Pyramid is a schematic representation of a healthy nutrition model. In particular, the foods found on its base are the foods that need to be consumed more frequently, while as we ascend from the base to the top, the frequency with which foods are consumed should be reduced. On the top of the pyramid are the foods that are recommended for only a few times each month and in small quantities. In essence, the place held by a group of foods in the pyramid indicates the place that the foods of this group should have in our diet. Thus, all foods have a place in our diet, provided that they are consumed in the right quantity and with the recommended frequency.
The base of the pyramid includes cereal, rice, bread and pasta. Those are foods that come from grains and that should be consumed in satisfactory quantities, as they offer the energy which is necessary for our body, as well as valuable nutrients such as B complex vitamins and various minerals.
The first level of the pyramid contains fruits and vegetables. Such foods are very rich in vitamins, minerals and dietary fibres, and for this reason we should consume many portions on a daily basis. It is recommended that we daily consume 3 portions of fruit and 6 portions of vegetable. (1 portion of fruit = 1 medium fruit or the quantity fitting in a cup, 1 portion of vegetable = 1 cup of raw vegetables or ½ cup of boiled vegetables).
Olive oil is necessary in our daily diet, as it has a significant nutritional value and it contributes to the good health of the heart and vessels. Its use is recommended as the main source of fat during cooking, but also during frying. However, it should be consumed in moderation due to its high-calorie content.
It is recommended that dairy products (milk, cheese, yoghurt) be consumed daily at an adequate quantity (1-2 portions per day), as they are a very good source of calcium and vitamin D. (1 portion = 1 cup of milk (240 ml), 1 cup of yoghurt, 30 grams of hard cheese, 30 grams of 13% fat Katiki Domokou cheese.
Products of animal origin (poultry, fish, eggs) are sources of high-value protein and iron. It is recommended that fish be consumed twice per week. The same applies for poultry. It is recommended that no more than 3 eggs be consumed per week. Opt for animal products without fat, among which are low-fat cured meats, such as NIKAS Viveur cured meats or NIKAS FUEGO smoked turkey, with 0-3% fat and 96% meat.
Pulses and dried fruits are a good source of protein of plant origin and minerals, and it is recommended that they be consumed 1-2 times per week.
Being similar to processed cereal, potatoes are recommended to be consumed less frequently during a week and mainly as a side dish.
Sweets are rich in calories, but not in nutritional value, and for this reason they should be consumed in moderation, i.e. 1-2 times per week.
Finally, meat should only be consumed only a few times monthly, as its frequent consumption has been associated with heart diseases, cancer and various other health problems, such as hypertension.
It is recommended that alcohol be consumed moderately, up to 2 drinks daily for men and up to 1 drink for women (1 drink = 120 ml of wine, 330 ml of beer, 50 ml of high-alcohol drink).
Moreover, adequate consumption of water and medium consumption of salt, which may be replaced by aromatic herbs, is recommended.
Finally, physical activity is advised.