OVER half of the population in the Balearic Islands have a healthy diet that is based on the so-called Mediterranean diet, according to a study drawn up by the Spanish Nutrition Society (SENC) who have also written a practical guide on healthy eating.
This guide is the result of two years of hard work by 20 researchers and proposes many recommendations: for example, people should eat at least five daily meals that include a wide variety of different foods; to plan ahead the meals you need and the quantities; and to respect basic health and safety principles in the kitchen.
Furthermore, the study advises people to follow the pyramid chart which details the quantities of which healthy foods people should eat and for the first time it also includes alcoholic drinks like wine and beer as an optional choice. These drinks have been included after some studies have proved that to drink a glass of beer and wine a day is good for you.
The foods which should be eaten daily are listed at the bottom of the pyramid, for example cereals, potatoes, vegetables, fruit, milk and dairy products and olive oil.
Other food categories, such as legumes, dried fruit, fish, eggs and lean meats should be eaten a few times during the week.
Lastly at the top of the pyramid are meat, pastries, bread, sugar and fizzy drinks which must be consumed in moderation.
The Society states how important it is to have a healthy diet as it helps keep away certain illnesses. Food alone explains nearly half of the causes for premature death in Spain, said professor Lluís Serra Majem, president of SENC and author of the new guide, who suggests that there are no forbidden foods: the key is variety and everything in moderation.