The Mediterranean Diet

What is the Mediterranean diet?

The Mediterranean Diet, sometimes referred to as the 'Greek Mediterranean Diet' or 'Mediterranean Diet Plan' is actually more of a dietary pattern that is characteristic of people living in regions around the Mediterranean Sea. Although it is called a diet, the Mediterranean diet is not about cutting calories and restricting foods like the popular diet trends in America today. Instead, it is a way of life and is about enjoying a wide variety of whole, nourishing foods with friends and family while practicing an active lifestyle.

The characteristic components of this diet include:

  • Whole grains, which includes all parts of the grain- the bran, endosperm, and germ. Each of these parts has healthful nutrients, which are lost or reduced when they are refined into products such as white flour.
  • A wide variety of vegetables and fruits, often eaten seasonally and locally.
  • Legumes, nuts, and seeds as the main plant-based sources of protein in the diet.
  • Olive oil as the main source of fat, replacing less-healthful fats such as butter.
  • Seafood, poultry, and eggs are consumed more often than other meats.
  • Moderate amounts of dairy, mostly as yogurt and cheese, consumed a few times a week.
  • Red wine, consumed moderately with meals.
  • Physical activity - at least 30 minutes a day on most days of the week.
  • Plenty of water to stay hydrated.
  • Fresh herbs and spices are added to dishes for flavor and color in replace of excess salt.

Mediterranean Food Pyramid

Mediterranean Food Pyramid