Proper nutrition is crucial for an athlete to optimize his or her performance for training and competition. The Mediterranean diet is characterized by typical foods of the Mediterranean basin such as legumes, fruits, cereals and olive oil, with a moderate consumption of eggs, fish and dairy products. The aim of this research was to evaluate the adherence to MedD in athletes. The aim of this paper was to find in the literature and summarize data relating to adherence to the Mediterranean diet by athletes. This is the first investigations summarizing adherence to the Mediterranean diet in athletes. The findings have implications for the design of nutritional interventions for athletes. Searches were run in the online databases PubMed, Google Scholar. The search strategy incorporated the terms (Mediterranean diet) AND (performance, sport, athletic*), and the filters applied were: humans, trial of athletes, and journal article. Based upon the specific aims of this paper, studies identified from the original search strategy were systematically excluded according to the following criteria: studies not conducted with living human participants; studies that were review articles. The diet of a large portion of the athletic population surveyed is not compliant enough with Mediterranean diet guidelines. This is the first investigations summarizing adherence to the Mediterranean diet in athletes. Future interventions should focus on an increase in vegetables and a decrease in red meat as a source of protein, an increase in pulses and fish/seafood, an increase in the consumption of fruit, and decreased consumption of carbonated sugar-sweetened drinks. It is essential to provide nutritional guidelines to athletes and instructing about the Mediterranean diet.
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