The Mediterranean diet: the healthiest diet in the world. That’s the bold statement splashed across the cover of the latest book by Dr Simon Poole. A medical doctor, he works at a family medical practice in Cambridge and is a firm believer in the evidence-based results of the diet. Poole had noticed a marked increase in the kind of chronic illnesses that could be prevented through dietary means and as a result wroteas a practical guide to communicate this nutritional information.
The term Mediterranean diet came into being during the 1950s and 1960s when international researchers first noted that people living in some parts of Greece and Italy had a much lower incidence of common illnesses. Their diet was focused on unprocessed, seasonal and locally produced food like whole grains, vegetables, beans, nuts, cheese, herbs and spices alongside what Poole calls “the ubiquitous extra virgin olive oil”. Processed foods and red meat were eaten less commonly and in smaller amounts, while fresh fruit was consumed at the end of meals. Enjoying meals with others also played a part.
The Real Mediterranean Diet: A practical guide to understanding and achieving the healthiest diet in the world by Dr Simon Poole is published by Cambridge Academic.
- CrowdFarming, a virtual method of buying direct from farmers, mainly in Europe, offers a variety of olive oils and olives (alongside chickpeas, nuts and fruit) making it a one-stop shop for Mediterranean diet aficionados. crowdfarming.com
- The Dublin-based Taste With Gusto sells its Coratina olive oil from a shop in Georges’ Street Arcade, at markets in the Dublin region and also online. Available in bottles or 5ltr cans. laspesaitaliana.ie
- Lino Olivieri imports olive oil from his family homeplace in Puglia, cold-pressed from a variety of olive called Ogliarola Garganica. Available at Dublin markets and online. olivierisfineitalianfoods.com
- After working in Barcelona, chef Sarah Merrigan set up Sarah & Olive to bring single-estate olive oil from Andalucia to Ireland. Stockists and online ordering at sarahandolive.com
- Toons Bridge Dairy / The Real Olive Company stocks a variety of olive oils from Portugal, Italy, Spain and Greece. It has shops in Dublin and Cork’s English Market, a presence at markets around Ireland and an online shop. toonsbridgedairy.com