There is an emphasis on plant foods, olive oil, fish, poultry, beans, and grains. The diet draws together the common food types and healthful habits from the traditions of several different regions, including Greece, Spain, southern France, Portugal, and Italy. Studies suggest that people who live in the Mediterranean area or follow the Mediterranean diet have a lower risk of various diseases, including obesity, diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. They are also more likely to enjoy a longer life than people in other regions. Key ingredients of the diet include fresh fruits and vegetables, unsaturated fats, oily fish, a moderate intake of dairy, and a low consumption of meat and added sugar. Studies have linked these factors with positive health outcomes. There is no single definition of the Mediterranean diet, but one group of scientists used the following as their basis of research. Unsaturated fat comes from plant sources, such as olives and avocado.
The Mediterranean Diet emphasizes consumption of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, legumes, olive oil, and flavorful herbs and spices. Eating fish and seafood several times a week is encouraged as well as enjoying poultry, eggs, cheese, and yogurt in moderation. Sweets and red meat should be reserved for special occasions. For more information see the Mayo Clinic’s web pages on the Mediterranean Diet. Date last modified: October 2,
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