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Understanding Mediterranean and Okinawa Diets

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


Learn to make healthier diet choices by examining two different diets.

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.

Please note this course runs without facilitation. 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.


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

Duration & Dates


Audience & Eligibility

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







Registration Open & Seats




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Structure & Modules

Week 1: What do we eat?

  • Is your food healthy?
  • Why is diet important for your health?
  • The Mediterranean (MED) food pyramid and scientific background
  • The Okinawa diet: The food pyramid, scientific background and benefits for your health

Week 2: Diet and microbiota: health benefits

  • Diet and microbiota: fundaments
  • The health benefits of the MED and Okinawa diets
  • Components of MED and Okinawa diets: protein sources
  • Foods of the MED and Okinawa diets: fish, meat, poultry and dairy
  • An easy-to-prepare recipe

Week 3: Foods of MED and Okinawa diets: properties and benefits

  • Foods of the Okinawa diet: wakame and kombu seaweeds, tofu, shiitake mushrooms
  • Components of MED and Okinawa diets: carbohydrate and fat sources
  • Foods of the MED diet: olive oil
  • Foods of the MED and Okinawa diets: fruit and vegetables
  • Foods of the MED and Okinawa diets: cereals and pseudocereals

Programme lead

Foto personale
Luca Cocolin

Professor of Food Microbiology Department of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences at the University of Torino