Many Greek young men have always wondered why longevity is a common phenomenon in their Greek village. Their parents had lived to a ripe old age and so did their grandparents. They were told that the phenomenon may be due to the Mediterranean diet. People living in the Mediterranean such as in Greece, Italy, and Crete have been consuming their traditional diets for generations. These traditional diets, collectively called the Mediterranean Diet, with its apparent health benefits have baffled both the scientist and the layman. What is so special about the Mediterranean diet? There is no single version of the Mediterranean diet, but common dietary features include plenty of fruits, vegetables, wheat, and the most common food ingredient in the Mediterranean cuisine – olive oil (Nestle, 1995). This edible oil comes in ‘virgin’ and ‘double virgin’ forms and has become a hit as salad dressing not only in the Mediterranean region, but also in several countries around the globe.
Keywords: MPOB PUBLICATIONS, OLIVE OIL, HEALTH AND NUTRITION, PALM OIL, ANTIOXIDANTS