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The Mediterranean Diet: Is it for you?

A simple, tasty way to eat that is growing in popularity around the world.

Interested in shedding unwanted holiday/pandemic weight? Are you interested in a heart-healthier and lower-cholesterol diet? Are you interested in delicious, fresh-tasting and varied cuisine?

Maybe the Mediterranean diet is something for you!

Voted the best diet by usnews.com for several years in a row, the Mediterranean diet is based on what countries around the Mediterranean have been eating every day for generations: amounts of vegetables and fruit, beans and lentils, and whole grains. In addition, of course, more seafood than meat or poultry and delicious and heart-healthy olive oil. Seasoned with different spices, fresh herbs and lemon or lime, depending on the country.

The Mediterranean Food Pyramid was developed by the Harvard School of Public Health in the 1990s and was based on the Seven Countries Study conducted by American physiologist Ancel Keys in the 1950s.

Keys found that people in Crete tended to have less coronary artery disease than people in other participating countries in the study, which he attributed to their traditional diet, the Mediterranean diet.


The Harvard School of Public Health studied Key’s findings and the diets of people in the area and developed the pyramid pictured here. The pyramid gives a simple visual representation of what you should aim for when following the Mediterranean diet: lots of fruits, vegetables, and grains at the bottom of the pyramid; slightly less fish and seafood; less poultry, eggs, cheese and yogurt; and meat and sweets, consumed less often, at the top of the pyramid.

Physical activity and eating together are also included in the pyramid (not shown) as they are an important part and foundation of healthy living. More information about the pyramid and the Keys study can be found here.

The Mediterranean diet is growing in popularity in North America as doctors and others discover its benefits and deliciousness. It’s easy to understand even being here all year round as we have access to canned and frozen foods as well as imported fruits and vegetables from all over the world.

Some delicious examples of Mediterranean diet dishes include: chicken cacciatore, minestrone soup, grilled chicken with vegetables, and poached salmon with lemon and herbs.

You can find recipes and cookbooks for the Mediterranean diet all over the internet and in bookstores. A great website with lots of easy recipes to get you started is https://www.themediterraneandish.com/best-mediterranean-diet-recipes/.


America’s Test Kitchen has one too The Complete Mediterranean Cookbook with 500 proven recipes in all food groups emphasizes the diet. This book is great for slightly more time consuming recipes with an authentic Mediterranean flair, although it still has some easier recipes and certainly some that could be modified to be quicker and easier.


Why not research some Mediterranean recipes, head to your local market to shop for fresh ingredients, and whip up a delicious Mediterranean dinner today. Your health and heart will thank you!

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