Over 100 nutrition experts attending the International Conference on the Mediterranean Diet in Palma, which has attracted specialists from across the globe, said yesterday that promoting the Mediterranean Diet is “the cheapest” way of getting people to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle. But nutrition and health experts all agree that the Mediterranean Diet is more than just a way of eating, it is a philosophy of life. During the four-day conference in Palma the experts will be digesting and discussing all the latest results and studies into the Mediterranean Diet and the advantages of sticking to the diet for which the main ingredient is olive oil. The European Union has put up 35 million Euros to fund a promotional campaign which will not only be aimed at Europe but the rest of the world in a bid to get the public to change their eating habits and have a Mediterranean based diet. The benefits of olive oil are numerous and there is scientific evidence proving that olive oil helps reduce blood pressure, diabetes, reduces cholesterol and can also help fight cancer. What is more, regular consumption of olive oil, combined with physical exercise and weight control, can help defeat obesity. Recent studies have shown that the number of deaths in the Mediterranean basin due to heart attacks are far lower than the heart attack rates in the United States and Northern Europe. Nutritionists said yesterday that there is a danger in abusing the use of vegetable oils which are rich in acids and polyunsaturated fats which damage the system and the best way for protecting the body is to eat fresh vegetables, fruit and olive oil.