Mediterranean diet — sources, health benefits at

The Mediterranean diet is a general term for the nutritional intake of individuals living at the border of the Mediterranean Sea, including Spain, Greece, and Italy. These diets vary among countries, and among regions of a country as well. It can, however, be described with characteristics such as high consumption of fruits, vegetables, bread, cereal, potatoes, beans, nuts, and seeds; abundance of olive oil; dairy products, fish, poultry, and red meat are eaten very rarely; eggs are consumed less than four times each week; and wine is consumed in low to moderate amounts on a regular basis.

The fat calories in a Mediterranean diet come mainly from monounsaturated fats like olive oil. Unlike saturated fats from a regular American diet, monounsaturated fats do not raise blood cholesterol levels. Notable is the fact the incidence of heart disease in Mediterranean countries are much lower than in the United States. There is also a lower death rate in these countries, which is the result of people’s healthy diets and active lifestyles.

To get the maximum benefits of the Mediterranean diet, an active lifestyle is highly recommended. This includes regular exercise and making simple daily decisions: walking instead of taking a cab, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or walking to the grocery instead of ordering for delivery. The Mediterranean diet also encourages eating with family or friends, since social and psychological well-being is part of overall wellness.

Benefits of a Mediterranean diet

Many studies have shown the innumerable health benefits of a Mediterranean diet. This type of diet can help lower cholesterol, promote healthy weight loss, improve conditions of rheumatism and arthritis, and reduce the risk of development of Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and various types of cancer.

Food items typically found in a Mediterranean diet

Each meal should be based on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, olive oil, beans, nuts, legumes, seeds, herbs, and spices (no salt). Fish should be eaten twice a week. Poultry, eggs, cheeses, and yogurt should be eaten in moderation on a weekly basis. Red meat should be limited to three-ounce portions on a rarely basis, or totally avoided. Water is a must in the Mediterranean diet. Wine can be included in the diet, but in moderation – no more than one a five-ounce glass a day for women, and two glasses per day for men. Snack on raw vegetable sticks like celery or carrots. White rice can be replaced by quinoa, and wheat bread with whole grain bread.

Body systems supported by a Mediterranean diet

The Mediterranean diet helps maintain a healthy heart, brain, and digestive system. It promotes better regulation of minerals in the blood, and reduces the risk of many diseases. The Mediterranean diet is known to reduce the impact of side effects of mental diseases.

Where to learn more


The Mediterranean diet is a nutritional plan that replaces animal-based protein with plant-based protein.

The Mediterranean diet promotes heart, brain, and digestive wellness.

The Mediterranean diet is known to reduce the negative effects of cognitive degeneration including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and epilepsy.

The Mediterranean diet helps reduce excessive body weight.

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