The Mediterranean Diet

The Mediterranean Diet is based on the dietary habits of the countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea, consisting of plant foods, monounsaturated fats, high-fiber foods and foods that are low-fat and low-cholesterol. The diet is hearty healthy and is associated with both longevity and weight loss.


Mediterranean Diet Pattern

According to WebMD, while there is no single diet under the Mediterranean plan, there is a "dietary pattern" that envelops plant foods, monounsaturated fats like olive oil, fish and limited animal products. A basic pattern on the diet looks similar to the following:
  • Legumes: daily
  • Fruits: two and a half cups daily
  • Vegetables: two cups daily
  • Fish: twice or more weekly
  • Nuts: daily handful
  • Meat and poultry: under four ounces daily
  • Dairy: two cups of low-fat dairy products daily
  • Wine: one serving a day for women, two for men
  • Fats: monounsaturated in moderation
  • Eggs: under four weekly

Mediterranean Diet Tips

The following tips are recommended by WebMD:
1. Select whole grain breads, cereals and starches.
2. Select nuts, seeds, legumes, fish, low-fat dairy and poultry to meet your protein requirements daily.
3. Reduce saturated and trans fat intake, trading butter or margarine for olive or canola oil.
4. Enjoy a glass of red wine with lunch or dinner.
Mayo Clinic adds:
1. Exercise.
2. Use herbs and spices instead of salt.
3. Limit red meat to a couple of meals a month

Mediterranean Diet and Health

According to the American Heart Association and WebMD, the Mediterranean diet is associated with the following:
  • Reduced risk of diabetes
  • Reduced risk of cancers
  • Reduced risk of Alzheimer's disease
  • Reduced risk of heart disease
  • Weight loss


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