The Mediterranean Diet: What You Need to Know

Here's everything you need to know about the Mediterranean diet

(RxWiki News) Any time you start reading about healthy diets, you're likely to come across the Mediterranean diet. There's a good reason for that.

The Mediterranean diet is widely considered to be one of the healthiest diets you can have.

Let's take a quick dive into what you need to know about the Mediterranean diet.

What Is the Mediterranean Diet?

As a geographic area, the Mediterranean refers to the nations surrounding the Mediterranean Sea, such as Italy, Greece, Spain and Turkey. The Mediterranean diet refers to the typical cuisine of these countries.

Nutritionists and other health professionals first showed interest in the Mediterranean diet several decades ago, when it was noted that heart disease was relatively low in the Mediterranean.

Since then, research into the diet has tied it to heart health and various other health benefits.

What Foods Does the Mediterranean Diet Include?

The Mediterranean diet places a heavy emphasis on plant-based foods, such as nuts, seeds, herbs, spices, fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains. Fish, poultry and dairy products are a part of the diet — but only in moderation.

Olive oil, a well-known source of healthy fats, is a main component of the Mediterranean diet. In fact, it is a primary source of added fat in the diet.

Red meat and added sugar are rare occurrences in the Mediterranean diet.

How Can I Implement Parts of the Mediterranean Diet Today?

If the Mediterranean diet sounds quite different from your current diet, you don't have to change everything overnight to get some of the health benefits of this diet. You can make a few small changes to start heading in the heart-healthy direction. Here are some examples of some simple changes you can make today:

  • Use olive oil in your daily cooking instead of butter.
  • Replace sweets that include added sugar with a serving of fresh fruit.
  • Emphasize plant-based sources of protein, such as beans, in some meals instead of red meat.

Talk to your health care provider before making any major changes to your diet.

Review Date: 
March 17, 2022