Transferability of the Mediterranean Diet to Non-Mediterranean Countries. What Is and What Is Not the Mediterranean Diet

Nutrients. 2017 Nov 8;9(11):1226. doi: 10.3390/nu9111226.


Substantial evidence has verified the Mediterranean diet's (MedDiet) nutritional adequacy, long-term sustainability, and effectiveness for preventing hard clinical events from cardiovascular disease (CVD), as well as increasing longevity. This article includes a cumulative meta-analysis of prospective studies supporting a strong inverse association between closer adherence to the MedDiet and the incidence of hard clinical events of CVD. The MedDiet has become an increasingly popular topic of interest when focusing on overall food patterns rather than single nutrient intake, not only in Mediterranean countries, but also globally. However, several myths and misconceptions associated with the traditional Mediterranean diet should be clearly addressed and dispelled, particularly those that label as "Mediterranean" an eating pattern that is not in line with the traditional Mediterranean diet. The transferability of the traditional MedDiet to the non-Mediterranean populations is possible, but it requires a multitude of changes in dietary habits. New approaches for promoting healthy dietary behavior consistent with the MedDiet will offer healthful, sustainable, and practical strategies at all levels of public health. The following article presents practical resources and knowledge necessary for accomplishing these changes.

Keywords: Mediterranean diet; cardiovascular disease; dietary intervention; dietary patterns; dietary recommendations.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis

MeSH terms

  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Diet, Mediterranean*
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Food / classification
  • Health Behavior
  • Humans
  • Patient Compliance