The Mediterranean Way and Why It Is Healthy

— Written By Jimmi Buell and last updated by
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If you’re looking for a heart-healthy eating plan, the Mediterranean diet might be right for you. The Mediterranean diet incorporates the basics of healthy eating — plus a splash of flavorful olive oil.

Most healthy diets include fruits, vegetables, fish and whole grains, and limit unhealthy fats. Summertime is an easy way to start your healthy diet with the abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables available in our county.

Benefits of the Mediterranean diet

Research has shown that the traditional Mediterranean diet reduces the risk of heart disease, and reduces the incidence of cancer, and Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases. Women who eat a  Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil and mixed nuts may have a  reduced risk of breast cancer.

For these reasons, most if not all major scientific organizations encourage healthy adults to adopt a style of eating like that of the Mediterranean diet for the prevention of major chronic diseases.

Key components of the Mediterranean diet

The Mediterranean Diet Pyramid showing exercise and fruits and vegetables as the core tenants of the diet.

The Mediterranean diet emphasizes:

  • Eating primarily plant-based foods, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes and  nuts
  • Replacing butter with healthy fats such as olive oil and canola oil
  • Using herbs and spices instead of salt to flavor foods
  • Limiting red meat to no more than a few times a month
  • Eating fish and poultry at least twice a week
  • Enjoying meals with family and friends
  • Drinking red wine in moderation (optional)
  • Getting plenty of exercise

How do you eat the Mediterranean way?

  • Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables at every meal
  • Go for lean protein options, such as fish and chicken

Make all your grains whole-grain options – such as whole-wheat bread, brown rice, and oatmeal

Choose nuts and seeds as snacks Use healthy fats, such as olive and canola oil – limit your  saturated fats, such as butter and margarine

Learn more about the Mediterranean Way Cooking. Get started today for a healthy you!