The Mediterranean Diet
What exactly, is
the Mediterranean Diet?
First, let’s establish that this is not the kind of diet you get for a short term to reach a weight loss goal in a certain amount of time. This is a way of eating that and therefore represents the true meaning of the word diet – “food regularly provided or consumed; habitual nourishment” – Merriam-Webster.com.
The Mediterranean way of eating consists of the following key elements:
- Lots of fruits and vegetables
- Consumption of healthy fats like olive and canola oil
- Substitution of herbs (like oregano) for spices (like salts) for flavoring food
- Consumption of small amounts of red meat
- Consumption of at least two servings of fish per week
Essentially, it is what health gurus recommend for everyone’s diet. No surprises or paradigm shifts here.Harvard proposed a food pyramid in 2004 that somewhat reflects the Mediterranean way of eating. It puts whole grains, essential plant oils (like olive and canola), fruits, and vegetables towards the bottom. This is the base and what our diets should consist of mostly. It is important to mention that even with a balanced nutrition and a diet plan like the Mediterranean Diet you may be missing essential nutrients. And as the newly proposed food pyramid by Harvad, most people can benefit from a multimineral and multivitamin supplement.
Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are at the base of this diet. Greeks, for example, are known to consume upwards of 9 servings a day of antioxidant-rich fruits.4 And remember that “Food should be eaten in season and locally grown, and Mediterrean dieters avoid processed food.”5
Please note that every reference to the Mediterranean Diet includes regular exercise. Exercise isn’t parking as far away as possible in the parking lot. Exercise is dedicating 20 to 60 minutes to do nothing else continuously. Put exercise clothes on, get mentally prepared to do nothing else, and find a spot where you will be able to do all exercises without interruption.
 Mayo Clinic Staff. “Mediterranean diet: Choose this heart-healthy diet option”. Nutrition and Healthy Eating, June 17, 2009. MayoClinic.com
Available at: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/mediterranean-diet/CL00011
 Stamos Kovacs, J. “Popular Diets of the World: The Mediterranean Diet”. Healthy Eating & Diet, January 01, 2007. WebMD.com.
Available at: http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/the-mediterranean-diet