What is the basis of the Mediterranean diet? With extra virgin oil, we are constantly receiving positive news about its effects on our health. Experts have long wondered why the incidence of various types of cancer is lower in the Mediterranean  countries than in the other countries.

Of course, this has nothing a priori to do with the health systems of Spain, Italy, Greece or Tunisia, because nobody doubts that countries like Germany, France or Sweden have equally effective, if not superior, health systems.

Basis of the Mediterranean diet

What do the southern countries have in common? Nutrition. The basis of the Mediterranean diet are legumes, fish, vegetables and fruits. On the contrary, low consumption of hydrogenated products of animal origin such as sausages or pastries.

Olive oil as a medicine

It is not yet clear whether the cause is the benefits of Mediterranean foods or the lower consumption of “continental” foods.

Unfortunately, habits are changing in southern European countries. The consumption of refined carbohydrates, pasta, white rice and animal fats has increased significantly. Fast food, obesity, cholesterol, diabetes and even cancer rates are also increasing significantly.

Basis of the Mediterranean diet: let’s go back to our grandmothers’ kitchen

It is important that we return to our “spoon cooking”, lentils, sardines, extra virgin olive oil, salads and seasonal fruits. We cannot afford the breathtaking spectacle that countries like the United States or even Australia offer. In these countries, many people over 200 kg can hardly walk on the street!

Indeed, American supermarkets are already offering electric cars so that people can shop more comfortably. The reason is that even if they can hardly move, they are of course great customers! : – (… a real drama.

Mighty lobbies collide

It seems incredible that countries as advanced as the United States are using so many resources for “miraculous” drugs to fight cholesterol or diabetes and almost nothing to change the way Americans eat.

One can assume that the food and pharmaceutical lobbies are hardly interested in the actual problem. It is sad and cruel …

The Mediterranean diet, intangible cultural heritage of humanity

Light at the end of the tunnel

The positive side is that in certain states like California, you start investing in the plantation of olive trees. In fact, the acreage in California is growing rapidly every year.

France is a close example. Despite the proximity to Spain, the French cannot eat a salad with only olive oil and vinegar. They continue to use “dressings”, which are often based on palm or sunflower oils with added sugar.

It’s a shame because these are calorie sauces that lack the health benefits of extra virgin olive oil.

Sudden differences in consumption

In Greece, the consumption of EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) is more than 20 liters / year / person, in Italy 15 and in Spain about 12. In comparison, they barely reach half a liter in Germany!

But be careful! The consumption of virgin oil in Spain drops at the expense of sunflower oil! 🙁 The EVOO, as a pillar of the Mediterranean diet, could be in danger. 🙁

Basis of the Mediterranean diet: the key, polyphenols

Many scientists believe that the health benefits of extra virgin oil are the valuable polyphenols. These tiny minor ingredients in extra virgin oil are both responsible for their spicy and bitter taste.

Oro del Desierto Coupage, top in polyphenols

These are natural antioxidants, similar to those found in tea, wine, or even coffee. This would also explain the longevity of Asian countries like Japan, where no extra oil is consumed, but a lot of tea, vegetables and fish, and little industrial food.

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Live more with olive oil

The Interoleo group launched a campaign based on the World Economic Forum report, which places Spain in the Top 5 of the countries in terms of longevity, thanks to a diet rich in olive oil, vegetables and wine.

Thus, this study makes visible the advantages of this great product, which has placed Spain in this privileged place (Japan, Singapore, Switzerland and South Korea), and which highlights the advantages of this diet and the healthy habits associated with it.

The Interoleo Group thus shows that, despite the constant drop in internal consumption of olive oil for over 10 years, caused by a change in customs in our homes, and that the essence of the Mediterranean diet has been lost to fast food and a rushing life style, it has been verified that the consumption of olive oil is directly associated with habits collected in the Mediterranean diet such as family, socializing and time.

Why does the oil have to be extra virgin?

It is very simple, these “polyphenols” have long since disappeared in “vulgar” olive oil. These are fragile molecules, very sensitive to light and heat and very volatile.

For example, if the oil was extracted in an oil mill at high temperatures and the oil reaches the bottle, it is just a simple vegetable fat, but without the “magical” effects of the oil, it is extra virgin. If this is not the case, but remains on the shelves of a supermarket for too long and is exposed to light and heat, it also loses its properties.

Therefore, we only have to buy extra virgin olive oil in specialty shops and check whether it comes from the current campaign.

How do I store extra virgin oil?

Remember that the EVOO is a “living” product with a theoretical expiry date of 2 years. In reality, however, it begins to degenerate and lose aroma and taste after 4 to 5 months, just like its polyphenols. Once we’re home, we need to keep it in a dark and cool closet and close the bottle tightly to prevent oxygen from entering.