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Mediterranean Diet Pyramid: A Proposal for Italian People. A Systematic Review of Prospective Studies to Derive Serving Sizes

Medical Endocrinologist, General Internal Medicine A.S.L. Bari, v.le Iapigia 38/g, 70126 Bari, Italy
National Institute of Gastroenterology “S. de Bellis”, Research Hospital, Castellana Grotte, 70013 Bari, Italy
Department of Biomedical Sciences and Human Oncology, Section of Internal Medicine and Oncology, School of Medicine, Policlinico, University of Bari “Aldo Moro”, p.zza Giulio Cesare 11, 70124 Bari, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2019, 11(6), 1296;
Received: 4 May 2019 / Revised: 23 May 2019 / Accepted: 31 May 2019 / Published: 7 June 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Benefits of Mediterranean Diet)
In the last decade, a number of meta-analyses of mostly observational studies evaluated the relation between the intake of food groups and the risk of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs). In this study, we systematically reviewed dose-response meta-analyses of prospective studies with the aim to derive the quantities of food to consume to attain a protective (Mediterranean food) or a non-adverse (non-Mediterranean food) effect toward selected NCDs such as cardiovascular disease (CVD) including coronary heart disease (CHD) and stroke, type 2 diabetes (T2DM), colorectal (CRC) and breast cancer. These derived quantities, wherever possible, were suggested for a quantification of food servings of the Mediterranean Diet Pyramid proposed for Italian People (MDPPI). This pyramid came from the Modern Mediterranean Diet Pyramid developed in 2009 for Italian people. A weekly menu plan was built on the advice about frequency of intakes and serving sizes of such pyramid and the nutritional composition of this diet was compared with the Reference Italian Mediterranean Diet followed in 1960 in Nicotera. The diet built according the advice of MDPPI was very similar to that of Nicotera in the late 1950s that has been chosen as Italian Reference Mediterranean Diet with the exception of percentage of energy provided by cereals that was lower and of fruits and vegetables that was higher. Saturated fatty acids were only the 6% of daily energy intake. Also the Mediterranean Adequacy Index (MAI) was very similar to that of the aforementioned diet. View Full-Text
Keywords: Mediterranean diet; Mediterranean diet pyramid; noncommunicable diseases Mediterranean diet; Mediterranean diet pyramid; noncommunicable diseases
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D’Alessandro, A.; Lampignano, L.; De Pergola, G. Mediterranean Diet Pyramid: A Proposal for Italian People. A Systematic Review of Prospective Studies to Derive Serving Sizes. Nutrients 2019, 11, 1296.

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