The answer to the above question is an emphatic No.
The Mediterranean diet has assumed its place in history due to the epidemiological data surrounding populations consuming a typical agrarian diet.
In one recent prospective study involving 5,611 adults 60 years or older, adherence to a Mediterranean style dietary pattern – characterised by high consumption of olive oil, raw vegetables, soups, and poultry – was associated with a significantly lower risk of death from all causes.
After 6 years, those most closely following the Mediterranean dietary pattern had a 50% reduced risk of overall mortality. Much less favourable were the results seen in those most closely following a ‘pasta and meat’ dietary pattern – characterised by pasta, tomato sauce, red meat, processed meat, added animal fat, white bread and wine – whose overall mortality risk increased.
The study authors concluded:
“Dietary recommendations aimed at the elderly population throughout the Mediterranean should support a dietary pattern characterised by a high consumption of olive oil, raw vegetables and poultry.” (Masala G, Ceroti M, et al., Br J Nutr.)