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Nutrients 2015, 7(9), 7925-7964;

Food Processing and the Mediterranean Diet

School of Life and Medical Sciences, University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield AL10 9AB, UK
Expert at French Food, Environment and Work Safety Agency (ANSES), Former INSERM Senior Scientist, Cancer Institute, 34298 Montpellier cedex 5, France
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 18 August 2015 / Revised: 3 September 2015 / Accepted: 9 September 2015 / Published: 17 September 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Pattern and Health)
Full-Text   |   PDF [239 KB, uploaded 17 September 2015]


The benefits of the Mediterranean diet (MD) for protecting against chronic disorders such as cardiovascular disease are usually attributed to high consumption of certain food groups such as vegetables, and low consumption of other food groups such as meat. The influence of food processing techniques such as food preparation and cooking on the nutrient composition and nutritional value of these foods is not generally taken into consideration. In this narrative review, we consider the mechanistic and epidemiological evidence that food processing influences phytochemicals in selected food groups in the MD (olives, olive oil, vegetables and nuts), and that this influences the protective effects of these foods against chronic diseases associated with inflammation. We also examine how the pro-inflammatory properties of meat consumption can be modified by Mediterranean cuisine. We conclude by discussing whether food processing should be given greater consideration, both when recommending a MD to the consumer and when evaluating its health properties. View Full-Text
Keywords: Mediterranean diet; food processing; food preparation; cooking; phytochemicals; inflammation; oxidative stress Mediterranean diet; food processing; food preparation; cooking; phytochemicals; inflammation; oxidative stress
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Hoffman, R.; Gerber, M. Food Processing and the Mediterranean Diet. Nutrients 2015, 7, 7925-7964.

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