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Mediterranean Diet: What You Need To Know

 by Lisa Malin

What is the Mediterranean Diet?

The Mediterranean Diet follows the traditional diet of populations living around the Mediterranean sea, especially in Italy and Greece. Unlike many other diets, The Mediterranean Diet is holistic and includes long-ingrained traditions of family meals, home cooked food, community, and daily physical activity. In short, the Mediterranean Diet is more than a diet. It’s a lifestyle.

What’s on the menu? 

Plant foods, including whole grains, vegetables, legumes, fruit, nuts, seeds, herbs, and spices, make up most of the diet. Olive oil is the main source of added fat. Animal protein is consumed in moderation, with fish and seafood being the preferred source. Red meat is eaten only occasionally and usually saved for celebrations.

What’s off the menu?  

Sugar-sweetened beverages, added sugars, processed meat and highly processed foods of all kinds. 

What are the benefits? 

The Mediterranean diet has been linked to disease prevention, offering protection against diabetes, obesity, dementia, and certain cancers. The diet is balanced and easy to follow, meaning it is sustainable long term.

What are the downsides?

We can’t find any downsides, but it should be noted that the diet is more than an eating pattern: The Mediterranean Diet is a lifestyle featuring daily movement, community, home cooking, locally grown foods, shared meals and time spent with family and friends. It is this special combination of nourishing food and lifestyle habits that promotes health, well-being, and longevity.

Bottom line:

The Mediterranean diet is simple to follow, balanced, and allows room for personalization and lots of variety. It invites you to load up your plate with colorful, whole plant foods, move daily and share home cooked meals with loved ones. The diet is also the most heavily researched diet out there and is consistently shown to prevent cardiovascular disease, increase lifespan, and promote healthy aging. Sounds good to us!



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