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Understanding Mediterranean and Okinawa Diets

Learn the principles, science and health benefits of the Mediterranean and the Okinawa diets.

4,553 enrolled on this course

Understanding Mediterranean and Okinawa Diets
The CPD Certification Service

This course has been certified by the CPD Certification Service as conforming to continuing professional development principles. Find out more.

Learn to make healthier diet choices by examining two different diets

Please note this course runs without facilitation

Your diet can make a big difference to your health. That’s why it’s so important to consider the value of different diets from around the globe.

On this course you will explore the science and benefits of two well-known diets: the Mediterranean and Okinawa diets. You will learn the main components of these diets and how to prepare simple recipes. You will also consider what makes these diets healthy, and how they affect the body.

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  • Week 1

    What do we eat

    • Is your food healthy?

      Welcome to this course in which we will be dealing with food and health. You will be guided through this journey by experts and you will be invited to think about your habits and share your thoughts with other participants.

    • Why is diet important for your health?

      You might be familiar with the slogan “You are what you eat!”. However, does it really matter what and how you eat? Is the diet crucial for your health?

    • The Mediterranean (MED) food pyramid and scientific background

      We will present here the history of the Med diet, the Med food pyramid and the recommended frequency of food consumption.

    • The Okinawa diet: The food pyramid, scientific background and benefits for your health

      Like many other diets based on traditional or local eating patterns, the Okinawa diet recommends eating as much food as possible that is not subject to processing, thus avoiding processed food.

    • Week 1 reflection

      Reflection is an important part of learning, so, let's review what you've learned so far.

    • FAQs

      Find the answers to the questions on topics of week 1

  • Week 2

    Diet and microbiota: health benefits

    • Diet and microbiota: fundaments

      Diet influences human microbiota and its functions and, in this way, it has an impact on human health.

    • The health benefits of the MED and Okinawa diets

      Find out what are the benefits, documented by rigorous scientific studies, of these two diets, which are very different from each other, but have many common characteristics, by being all healthy diets.

    • Components of MED and Okinawa diets: protein sources

      During this week you will find out what are the foods in these two diets which represent protein sources. Watch what protein sources, from legumes and other plant, are used in the MED diet.

    • Foods of the MED and Okinawa diets: fish, meat, poultry and dairy

      The goal of these videos is to improve your knowledge of protein foods and their role in a healthy diet. We will start introducing the common fishes of MED and Okinawa diet and then we will focus on three kinds of animal protein.

    • An easy-to-prepare recipe

      How is your cooking style?

    • Test your knowledge

      What do you know about protein source foods? Did you find something new about that?

    • Reflection

      Let’s take a moment to reflect on what you’ve learned

    • FAQs

      Find the answers to the questions on topics of week 2

  • Week 3

    Foods of MED and Okinawa diets: properties and benefits

    • Foods of the Okinawa diet: wakame and kombu seaweeds, tofu, shiitake mushrooms.

      Discover foods of the Okinawa diet and how to find European alternatives.

    • Components of MED and Okinawa diets: carbohydrate and fat sources.

      During this activity you will find out what are foods used in the MED and in the Okinawa diets as carbohydrate and fat sources.

    • Foods of the MED diet: olive oil.

      Properties and benefits of olive oil

    • Foods of the MED and Okinawa diets: fruit and vegetables

      This video aims to increase your knowledge of the fruit and vegetables. What is their role in MED diet? Also, you will learn about the nutritional properties and health benefits associated with this food group.

    • Foods of the MED and Okinawa diets: cereals and pseudocereals

      In this video, you will learn more about cereals and pseudocereals. After this lesson, you will be able to describe their role in MED and Okinawa diets.

    • Test your knowledge

      What do you know about fruit, vegetables, cereals and pseudocereals? Did you find something new about that?

    • An easy-to-prepare recipe

      Have you ever used foods of the three diets in your cuisine?

    • Final assessment and 'take home message'

      What do you take with you at the end of this course? Check your knowledge and share your reflections with other learners.

Who is this accredited by?

The CPD Certification Service
The CPD Certification Service:

The CPD Certification Service was established in 1996 and is the leading independent CPD accreditation institution operating across industry sectors to complement the CPD policies of professional and academic bodies.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and learn at your own pace. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

You can take this self-guided course and learn at your own pace. On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Summarise the characteristics and benefits of the Mediterranean and Okinawa diets
  • Identify health-related properties of foods central to the two diets
  • Describe the importance of healthy food frequency consumption
  • Design at least one simple healthy recipe of one of the course diets
  • Reflect that there are many kinds of healthy diets and that these may be composed by using different foods and cultural approaches

Who is the course for?

This course is for anyone interested in maintaining a healthy diet, you don’t need any previous experience.

The Educators won’t be able to join the discussions themselves or respond to individual comments, but the course encourages a strong learning community. The learning is focused around debate and discussion – supporting other learners, sharing your own experience and knowledge, and listening to new perspectives. We hope that you will enjoy interacting with and learning from each other in this way. Don’t forget to comment, reply to other learners and ‘like’ comments.

What do people say about this course?


"I really enjoyed learning things I thought I knew. My eyes are more open now. It was very good."

Who will you learn with?

MD with expertise in the care of the patients with metabolic diseases. My research area is relative to the role of food/nutrients on dysmetabolic diseases and the organization of lifestyle trials.

I’m a professor in food microbiology at the University of Torino, Department of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences. My research focuses on food safety and microbial ecology of fermented foods.

Who developed the course?

EIT Food

EIT Food is Europe’s leading food initiative, working to make the food system more sustainable, healthy and trusted.

University of Turin

The University of Turin is one of the largest and most prestigious Italian universities, with about 70,000 students, 4,000 employees, and 1,800 research fellows, encompassing all academic sectors.

European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT)

This activity has received funding from EIT Food, the innovation community on Food of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), a body of the EU, under the Horizon 2020, the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation.

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