The Mediterranean Diet is one that has received much attention in the recent year. The diet is perhaps the staple of my own family’s lifestyle, and research behind it demonstrates its value for its positive effects on disease management, including hypertension, diabetes, cancer and heart disease, for example. The diet is neither a low fat diet, vegetarian nor a weight loss diet, but rather a balanced approach to maximizing nutrition in every meal we have. Neither is it eating “Greek food.”
There are many ways to define a Mediterranean diet. Perhaps a simple way is similar to what Trichaplou did when she looked at adherence and survival rates in the 2003 study. The Mediterranean diet Each of the categories of food was assigned one point when consumed as recommended, and adherence was measured by totaling up the scores. It is top loaded with vegetables, legumes, fruits and nuts. It emphasizes monounsaturated fats and avoids saturated fats and trans fats. Dairy, meats and sweets are limited. Red meat should not be eaten more that 2 or three times per month. Seafood and fatty fish are important protein staples in the diet.
- Legumes such as peas, beans, lentils, peanuts
- Fruits, Nuts
- Whole grains
- Oils (unsaturated greater than saturated)
- Meats (lean red meat)