The Mediterranean Diet

By: Nikki Nies

Original Image by Moyan Brenn via Flickr
Original Image by Moyan Brenn via Flickr

To follow up on a previous blog post on olive oil, the benefits of the Mediterranean diet are numerous.  A lot of researchers look to the Mediterranean diet to get a better understanding of how it works and how a lot of its users eat healthy, but still enjoy a glass of wine and oil on a ocassion.

So, who predominantly follows the Mediterranean diet? Those surrounding the Mediterranean sea, such as Turkey, Greece, Algeria, Morocco, Spain, Syria, Lebanon, etc.

While the Mediterranean has the standard suggestions of fruits, vegetables and whole grains, it also encourages the moderate consumption of wine and olive oil.  The small additions included in the Mediterranean diet have been praised for their help in lowering heart disease, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.

Original Image by Ania Mendrek via Flickr
Original Image by Ania Mendrek via Flickr

Aspects of Mediterannean diet:

  • Eat fish and poultry at least twice a week
  • Use herbs and spices instead of salt for flavor
  • Choosing healthy fats, such as olive oil instead of butter
  • Eat plant based foods, such as whole grains, nuts and legumes
  • Drink red wine in moderation (no more than 5 oz. for women and men over 65 years old, no more than 10 oz. of wine daily for men).
  • Opt for low fat dairy, such as skim milk, cheese and ice cream
  • High in fiber, which aids in digestion and alleviates constipation

The diet isn’t only strong in fruits and vegetables, but it is common for the Greek to average 6 or more servings of the fruits and veggies.  Unlike traditional American restaurants, the Greek eat whole grain bread either plain or in olive oil, not in butter.  Commonly, a handful of nuts are eaten as a great source of protein.


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