A mediterranean diet model in Australia: strategies for translating the traditional mediterranean diet into a multicultural setting
journal contributionposted on 2023-05-26, 15:14 authored by Elena S. George, Teagan Kucianski, Hannah L. Mayr, George Moschonis, Audrey TierneyAudrey Tierney, Catherine Itsiopoulos
Substantial evidence supports the effect of the Mediterranean Diet (MD) for managing chronic diseases, although trials have been primarily conducted in Mediterranean populations. The efficacy and feasibility of the Mediterranean dietary pattern for the management of chronic diseases has not been extensively evaluated in non-Mediterranean settings. This paper aims to describe the development of a MD model that complies with principles of the traditional MD applied in a multiethnic context. Optimal macronutrient and food-based composition was defined, and a two-week menu was devised incorporating traditional ingredients with evidence based on improvements in chronic disease management. Strategies were developed for the implementation of the diet model in a multiethnic population. Consistent with the principles of a traditional MD, the MD model was plant-based and high in dietary fat, predominantly monounsaturated fatty acids from extra virgin olive oil. Fruits, vegetables and wholegrains were a mainstay, and moderate amounts of nuts and seeds, fish, dairy and red wine were recommended. The diet encompassed key features of the MD including cuisine, biodiversity and sustainability. The MD model preserved traditional dietary components likely to elicit health benefits for individuals with chronic diseases, even with the adaptation to an Australian multiethnic population.