The Mediterranean diet is often misinterpreted. People associate it with eating pasta, or just using olive oil.
The Mediterranean diet does not just focus on one food, but on eating a combination of good ad healthy food in balance: so at every meal we choose a combination of good fats, good carbs, good proteins.
It is also based on the principle that everything should be eaten in moderation.
However when we say we should eat fish, vegetables, good grains, evoo we are only talking about the ingredients. Good ingredients are only 50% of the reason why a Mediterranean style diet is healthy.
The remaining 50% is due to the cookery method. It would not be healthy to eat whole grain pasta, or seafood, or vegetables that are deep fried, every day. Or it would not be healthy to eat food cooked in bad quality olive oil (that cannot be called extra virgin) at high temperature.
The Mediterranean style diet is healthy when ingredients and extra virgin olive oils are of high quality and when they are cooked using a slow cooking method that enhances flavors and nutrients. Slow cookery method means cooking at low temperature. The slow cookery method together with the high quality ingredients make the Mediterranean-style diet really unique as it is not only very tasty but also healthy.
The slow cookery method is something that is not found in all Mediterranean cuisines. There are countries by the Mediterranean that use Mediterranean ingredients and their cuisine is very tasty but not 100% healthy.
The slow cookery method was traditionally used in areas like Southern Italy and in Greece. Today, due to the influence of other cuisines and media, even in Southern Italy the authentic, ancient and healthy Mediterranean cuisine is at risk of being lost. Even in Southern Italy you now find people who fry using low quality olive oil or eat pasta or bread made with white flour (bad sugar) and not complex grains
Without the slow cookery method, the Mediterranean style diet would not be completely understood. In fact there are Mediterranean cuisines that are tasty but not completely healthy.
Finally, talking about Mediterranean-style diet is talking about home-made food. Only at home you can control the quality of the ingredients and cook food at low temperature. In some restaurants it is not always possible to combine taste with health as some food needs to be cooked in a hurry at high temperature.