The Pesco-Mediterranean Diet: A Great Match For The Best Extra Virgin Olive Oil This Summer

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Animal Protein Enhances Plant-Based Diet With Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Updated 16th June 2023

Extra Virgin Olive Oil And The Mediterranean Diet
Pesco Mediterranean Diet With Olive Oil


This popular diet has been growing in popularity among health-conscious food lovers due to its tremendous benefits. It’s easy to incorporate into everyday life and contains many nutrient-rich foods, so it can help boost your overall wellness while providing great flavors too. The Pesco-Mediterranean diet takes a modern spin on traditional Mediterranean dishes by adding seafood as an additional staple food group – but what else makes this nutritional plan good for you and where does extra virgin olive oil fit in to the mix?

In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the key reasons why the Pesco-Mediterranean diet could be beneficial to include in your daily routine.

Switching to a plant-based diet is an increasingly popular choice in January and The Mediterranean Diet remains one of the key choices for a healthier lifestyle.  If going completely meat free feels too extreme for you, the Pesco-Mediterranean Diet could be a great compromise.  But what does it consist of and why might it be a good choice for your new year health resolutions?

The Pesco-Mediterranean Diet Is Good News For Extra Virgin Olive Oil Fans

Fancy reducing your consumption of meat but don’t want to give up the health benefits of fish?  The Pesco-Mediterranean Diet could be perfect for you!  The team at Morocco Gold stumbled upon a great Newsweek summary of the benefits of a Pesco-Mediterranean Diet.

In the article, Soo Kim describes a Pesco-Mediterranean diet as;

“Essentially the Mediterranean diet combined with fish and seafood as your main animal food sources.”

According to The Mayo Clinic, The Mediterranean diet (made mostly of plant-based foods, with olive oil being the primary source of added fat) is based on the traditional cuisines of Greece, Italy and other countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea.

A typical Mediterranean diet pattern entails the following key aspects, according to the Mayo Clinic:

  • Forms meals around vegetables, beans and whole grains.
  • Eat fish at least twice a week.
  • Use olive oil instead of butter when cooking.
  • Serve fresh fruit for dessert.

The foundation of a Pesco-Mediterranean diet usually consists of vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes, whole grains, as well as extra-virgin olive oil, fish, seafood and fermented dairy products.

What Are The Health Benefits?

Speaking to Newsweek, Katherine Zeratsky, a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) at the Mayo Clinic, said the Pesco-Mediterranean diet “follows the positive trend of the benefits of the traditional Mediterranean diet.” 

And the first health benefit is great news for lovers of Extra Virgin Olive Oil!

It Is A Great Source Of Healthy Fats Including Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Extra Virgin Olive Oil For Brain Health
Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Nuts and seeds also form a regular part of a Pesco-Mediterranean diet. Not only are they both an excellent source of healthy fats, they’re also rich in dietary fiber and provide a lean source of protein, Ehsani noted.

According to the 2020 JACC study, trial groups that consumed a Mediterranean diet supplemented with nuts or extra virgin olive oil had “statistically significant reductions of 29 percent for major adverse CVD [cardiovascular disease] events—myocardial infarction (MI), stroke, and death from these causes—and 42 percent for stroke,” compared with groups on a simple low-fat diet.

It Reduces Meat Consumption

As explained by Newsweek, the diet reduces your meat consumption, including red meat and processed meats, which are both “pro-inflammatory” and raise “bad” LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol levels.

Zeratsky explained red and processed meats are a significant source of saturated fat. Processed meats tend to be high in sodium and other additives that may dilute nutritional quality.

“On the opposite spectrum, fish intake, often attributed to the healthier fats, have been shown to decrease coronary artery disease and sudden cardiac death and may also benefit other systems in our body such as brain health and lowering cancer risk,” Zeratsky noted.

Fatty fish (such as mackerel, herring, sardines, albacore tuna and salmon) are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are polyunsaturated fats that help fight inflammation in the body.

Can Reduce Risk of Heart Conditions

Zeratsky said consuming red and processed meat in greater quantity and/or frequency has been linked to a greater risk of cardiovascular disease and colon cancer.

2020 study in the peer-reviewed Journal of American College of Cardiology (JACC) noted that higher fish consumption (as long as it’s not fried fish) has been associated with a reduced risk of heart failure and a drop in the incidence of metabolic syndrome (a cluster of conditions occurring together, raising your risk of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes).

Ehsani also warned that high consumption of meat can be harmful to brain health.

The Mayo Clinic says the omega-3 fatty acids found in fatty fish help reduce triglycerides (a type of fat in your blood) and blood clotting as well as the risk of stroke and heart failure.

In a 2018 Science Advisory, the American Heart Association recommended people to have one to two seafood meals per week to “reduce the risk of congestive heart failure, coronary heart disease, ischemic stroke and sudden cardiac death.”

Further health benefits of the Pesco-Mediterranean Diet, as listed in the Newsweek article include a reduction in ‘bad’ cholesterol, a good source of low-fat protein and Vitamin D.  It is also an excellent choice for weight control as well as nutrient dense foods.

For the article in full please see here and for great tips on how extra virgin olive oil can contribute to a healthier lifestyle in 2022 come and visit us here.