AVOCADOS should be classed as being part of the ‘Mediterranean’ diet even though they were originally brought to Spain from the Americas, an expert has argued.
Manuel Martinez, from the European Institute of Mediterranean Food, said the fruit should be included because of its high nutritional value and the fact it arrived in Spain around the same time as the tomato.
The first avocados were recorded in Spain in 1616, while the tomato was brought over for cultivation in Spain towards the end of the 1500s.
“Historically speaking the two are in the same league,” insisted Martinez, speaking at a conference in Velez Malaga.
The ‘Mediterranean diet’, which includes tomatoes, wheat, wine and olive oil, is well known throughout the world for its low levels of saturated fat and high levels of anti-oxidants.
Eating the distinctive fruit, which is native to Central Mexico, has been linked to helping lower blood cholesterol levels.