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Mediterranean Diet Vs Ghanaian Diet Essay

2696 words - 11 pages

Mediterranean diet has been known to be the healthiest diet in world for the past years. Medical doctors and nutritionist recommend Mediterranean diets to their patients. This perception and attitude has led to the devaluation of other regional foods which upon further investigation may be if not more, equally healthy like the Mediterranean diet. An example of such situation is my regional diet- the Ghanaian diet. This article is therefore to prove that my regional diet is equally nutritious, accessible and even more economical than the Mediterranean diet using Greece as my target in the Mediterranean region. I will begin this article with a brief history of the whole idea of Mediterranean diet. Then proceed to do my analysis on both diets on the basis of nutritional value, accessibility and affordability or economics.
The term Mediterranean diet refers to dietary patterns found in olive-growing areas of the Mediterranean region. (Antonia Trichopoulou and Pagona Lagion, 2009). Mediterranean diet is based on food patterns typical of Crete, much of the rest of Greece, and southern Italy in the early 1960s, where adult life expectancy were among the highest in the world and rates of coronary heart disease, certain cancers, and other diet-related chronic diseases were among the lowest in the world. (W. C. Willet, 1995). Over 60 years ago scientist began studying the healthiest modern population. A nutritionist named Ansel Keys noted that men who lived in the mountains of Crete and ate a traditional Cretan diet had low rates of heart disease and cancer and lived to a very old age. So he designed a 15-year, seven-nation study to investigate how different regional diets affected disease rates and mortality. He looked at Greece (Crete), Finland, Japan, Italy, the Netherlands and the United States to see how the diets compared. Keys found that the diet in Mediterranean countries that he studied had fewer saturated fats, less dairy consumption and more fruit, vegetables and nuts than the other diets he studied because most of the people in the Mediterranean Region farmed the land, producing grapes and olives that were turned into wine and olive oil respectively. They fished and ate what they caught. They didn’t eat beef or a lot of dairy products because the climate is not right for the grazing land that these animals require. Fish, lamb and goats were eaten more often. According to Keys, the people in the Mediterranean region who ate what he called a Mediterranean diet had lower rates of death due to cardiovascular diseases unlike countries like the United States, which had much higher disease rates. (Brook, n.d.). As a result of the Seven Countries Study, the Mediterranean diet was labelled as the healthiest diet in the world. (S. Renaud, 1995). Argument that have been made concerning this proposition includes Dr Wilson’s, a nutrition consultant who said “I don’t agree with some of the premises or research concerning this diet. For example, while the...

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