Research Topic

Beyond the Pyramid: Healthy Foods Not Included in the Mediterranean Diet Pyramid

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Background: The Mediterranean diet is the traditional dietary pattern of the olive tree-growing areas of the Mediterranean basin and is commonly represented as a pyramid at the base of which are placed foods that should sustain the diet (e.g. vegetables, fruits, cereals), and at the upper levels, foods to be ...

Background: The Mediterranean diet is the traditional dietary pattern of the olive tree-growing areas of the Mediterranean basin and is commonly represented as a pyramid at the base of which are placed foods that should sustain the diet (e.g. vegetables, fruits, cereals), and at the upper levels, foods to be eaten in moderate amounts (e.g. meat). Although including a large number of foods, the traditional MD pyramid does not provide any indication for some widely consumed beverages (e.g. coffee, tea) or foods (e.g. chocolate) that have been shown to be associated with different health outcomes in a number of studies. Moreover, few studies have addressed the role of spices and herbs (e.g. chili peppers) for health, which are recommended in the Mediterranean diet pyramid as a valid substitute for salt.
Goal: Within the context of a globalized nutrition, it is fundamental to understand how non-Mediterranean healthy foods may be integrated into the traditional Mediterranean diet pyramid, also in light of bringing people closer to a modern healthy Mediterranean diet.
Scope: Presenting and discussing the potential health effects of some widely consumed non-Mediterranean foods, especially among Mediterranean population settings. It would be appreciated a methodological approach aimed to integrate some non-Mediterranean foods into a Mediterranean dietary score to test whether inclusion of such healthy foods may improve disease/mortality risk prediction (or modulation of major risk factors, e.g. inflammation) associated with a new-fashioned Mediterranean diet. It would be also of interest to test the association of clearly discouraged foods/nutrients (e.g. salt) with intermediate phenotypes or health outcomes.
Such data may represent a useful preliminary basis for future public health strategies aimed to promote healthy food habits at population level.
Details for Authors: In this Research Topic, we aim to attract the latest epidemiological research nutrition and health. We will welcome original research, systematic review, mini-review, perspective, opinion, brief research report.


Keywords: Mediterranean diet, healthy foods, diet quality, coffee, tea, chocolate, eggs, spices, herbs, salt


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