Conclusion

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Many common characteristics exist among the countries along the Mediterranean Basin, but each country has adapted to the geography and developed its own customs. The common core, however, can be seen in the diets of these countries. It is important to remember that the Mediterranean diet emphasizes eating whole, unprocessed foods that are extremely low in harmful LDL cholesterol. Recent studies indicate that the use of natural, monounsaturated oils such as olive oil, a balanced intake of vegetables and fish, and a low intake of red meats provides a natural defense against cardiovascular disease. Although more research is needed, the Mediterranean way of eating is potentially an ideal diet to improve the health of people by warding off illnesses.

Mohammed-Reza Forouzesh

Bibliography

Achterberg, Cheryl L.; McKenzie, J.; and Arosemena, F. (1996). Multicultural Pyramid Packet, Vol. 1. University Park, PA: Penn State Nutrition Center, College of Health and Human Development, Pennsylvania State University.

Giugliano, Dario; Sedge, Michael; and Sepe, Joseph (2000). The Mediterranean Diet: Its Origins and Myths. Reddick, FL: Idelson-Gnocchi.

Haber, B. (1997). "The Mediterranean Diet: A View from History." American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 66:1053S-1057S.

Keys, A. (1980). Seven Countries: A Multivariate Analysis of Death and Coronary Heart Disease. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Osbourne, C. (1988). Middle Eastern Food and Drink. New York: Bookwright Press.

Rimm, E. B., and Ellison, R. C. (1995). "Alcohol in the Mediterranean Diet." American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 61:1378S-1382S.

Simopoulos, A. P., and Visoli, F. (2000). "Mediterranean Diets." In World Review of Nutrition and Dietetics, Vol. 87. Switzerland: Karger Publishers.

Spiller, G. A., and Bruce, B. (2002). The Mediterranean Diet: Constituents and Health Promotion. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.

Internet Resources

Curtis, B. M, and O'Keefe, J. H. Jr. (2002). "Understanding the Mediterranean Diet." Post Graduate Medicine 112(2). Available from <http:www.postgradmed.com>

"Health Benefits of Olive Oil and the Mediterranean Diet." Available from <http:// www.mediterraneandiet.gr>

Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of America. "What Is Halal?" Available from <http://www.ifanca.org/halal.htm>

Islamic Halal Food Monitor of Canada. "A Brief Look at Dietary Laws for Muslims." Available from <http://www.eat-halal.com>

Oldways Preservation and Exchange Trust. "The Mediterranean Diet Pyramid." Available from <http://www.oldwayspt.org>

Nolan, J. E. "Cultural Diversity: Eating in America—Middle Eastern." Available from <http://ohioline.osu.edu>

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