The Mediterranean diet is one of the most popular diets since it includes so many health benefits. It has been linked to everything from reduced early mortality rates to lower rates of heart disease. Apparently, this way of eating has been studied in the nutrition sciences world for decades. The lower saturated fat intake from this diet is the main factor that reduces heart disease since dieters intake much more plant-based foods. In the 1990s, this diet became even more popular thanks to the Mediterranean Food Pyramid, which was developed by the Harvard School of Public Health and the World Health Organization as a healthier alternative to the USDA’s original food pyramid.
With this diet being as popular as it is, I think that holding it above other forms of diets and foods, in general, is a form of food shaming. Since this is derived from culture, I also think that we are putting Mediterranean culture on a pedestal and making it seem superior to other cultures that have different ways of eating. This is ultimately why this diet is harmful. It creates the idea that other cultures are “unhealthy” or not taking in enough nutrients.
- Remember, healthy eating involves more than just taking in the right amounts of nutrients.
Since most of this diet involves eating heart-healthy foods (like fish and olive oil), it is important to realize that there is a lot more that should go into a diet than just trying to absorb all of the right nutrients. This concept makes it hard to see that all foods have a certain effect on our diet. You can’t be narrow-minded and separate them into two categories “good” or “bad.” Ultimately, finding what’s right for you and your body is the most important key to changing your diet.
- Putting this diet on a pedestal above all other diets creates an unfair view of other cultural practices.
By doing this, it promotes the idea that the food of other cultures is inferior to Mediterranean food. When focusing on what countries make up the Mediterranean, it is generally looked at through a European lens. This leaves out African and Middle Eastern countries that are just as much a part of the Mediterranean culture as Italy, France, and Greece.
It can also be argued that there is a lot more that makes up a healthy person than just food. Health care, discrimination, poverty, and much more go into how physically and mentally healthy a person is. Unfortunately, sometimes these things are out of our control.
Overall, this is a very beneficial diet with many effective factors that help improve and prevent many physical health concerns. I think that there are many other ways to improve health as well. Everyone’s body is different, and by only focusing on one culture’s way of eating, you may be missing out on other cultures that would be even more beneficial to your health.