The Mediterranean diet is a type of diet based on the traditional cuisine of people living in Greece and southern Italy, among other countries in the Mediterranean Sea region.  This diet is based on vegetables, fruits, herbs, nuts, beans, and whole grains.  Meals are prepared around these plant-based foods and breads that are consumed are high in fiber.  Fats are mainly from unsaturated oils (good fats) such as: olive oil, fish oil, and dried fruits (walnuts, hazelnuts, and almonds).  In the other hand, meats, cheeses, and sweets; its consumption is minimal.  However, fish occupies a leading place in this style of eating.

In addition to food selection, the Mediterranean lifestyles has other important elements that influence human health.  For example: sharing meals with family and friends, enjoying a glass of red wine, and being physically active.  The combination of all these elements has been found to be associated with a reduction in risk factors for cardiovascular disease.  Learn about all the benefits you can receive by adopting this lifestyle:

  • Helps prevent heart disease.
  • Helps reduce the risk of having a heart and brain attack,
  • Helps lower cholesterol,
  • Helps prevent type 2 diabetes and,
  • Helps prevent metabolic syndrome.

If you’ re interested in starting a lifestyle like this, consider the following tips:

  • Eat 7-10 servings of fresh fruits and vegetables every day.
  • Prefer whole grain breads, pasta, and cereals.
  • Use olive oil in the preparation and consumption of your food.
  • Prefer fish or poultry over meat.
  • Eat fish more than 2 times a week (not fried).
  • Prefer low-fat plain or Greek yogurt and small amounts of cheese.
  • Season foods with herbs and spices.
  • Be physically active more than 3 times a week.

Go ahead and make a change in your eating style.  Consider practicing the Mediterranean diet for a week.  Start receiving all the benefits of leading a healthier lifestyle.


By: Tania Mangual-Monzón, MS
References: Mayo Clinic    |    MedlinePlus