An Overview of the Mediterranean Diet

The Mediterranean diet has become one of the most popular diets and is endorsed by dietitians worldwide. The Mediterranean diet includes many foods from countries around the Mediterranean Sea, such as Greece, Italy, and Spain, and has evolved over more than 5000 years. The diet focuses on eating mostly plant-based foods and moderate amounts of lean protein, whole grains, and healthy fats.

About the Mediterranean Diet

What are the benefits of the Mediterranean diet?

The Mediterranean diet can help reduce the risk of chronic disease and overall mortality, reports mayoclinic.org. Helpguide.org states that the diet additionally can improve your energy and mobility, increase longevity, and protect against Type 2 diabetes. In the late 1950s, Ancel Keys, Ph.D., a professor from the University of Minnesota,  researched the health outcomes of the diet, citing lower cardiovascular disease rates. 

 

Many later studies were inspired by Keys’ work, such as The Lyon Diet Heart Trial conducted by the American Heart Association, which examined the benefits of the diet and found “that after three years on the Mediterranean diet subjects had a 56% lower risk of dying and a 50% to 70% reduced risk of myocardial infarction.” Want to explore the benefits of the Mediterranean diet in more depth? Healthline consolidated 5 studies on the diet.

 

What foods are in the Mediterranean diet?

As the diet is influenced by the cuisine of these countries, there are no strict rules to the diet, making it incredibly easy to follow. Here are some Mediterranean foods to add to your diet:

  • Apples

  • Artichoke

  • Arugula

  • Avocado

  • Beans

  • Beets

  • Blackberries

  • Broccoli

  • Brown rice

  • Carrots

  • Clams

  • Eggs

  • Fennel

  • Mackerel

  • Mussels

  • Nuts

  • Pears

  • Quinoa

  • Seeds

  • Spinach

  • Swiss chard

  • Tangerines

  • Tomatoes

  • Whole oats

  • Yellowtail

Mediterranean Diet Recipes

Want to get started with the Mediterranean diet but don’t have any recipes? Don’t worry - we’ve got you covered. Here are our 3 favorite Mediterranean diet recipes.

Looking for a delicious, oil-free roasted vegetable dish? This recipe combines zucchini, onion, mushroom, and pepper for a fantastic addition to any meal. Read the recipe here.

This recipe gives salad a Mediterranean diet meal makeover with raspberries, walnuts, feta, and sunflower seeds. Read the recipe here.

With quinoa, leafy greens, crunchy vegetables, olives, beans, and creamy tzatziki dressing, I think you’ll like adding this Mediterranean bowl to your healthy eating plan. Read the recipe here.

 

Have any questions on how to get started with the Mediterranean diet? Send Jane at Cook for Health Coach a message and let’s discuss how to build a diet plan that’s right for you. Want to find some more great dishes to try? Check out Cook for Health Coach’s recipes