Mediterranean diet: what is it, benefits and how to do it?

When you think of Mediterranean food, your mind might go to pizza and pasta from Italy , or lamb chops from Greece, but these dishes don’t fit into the healthy eating plans advertised as “Mediterranean.” A true Mediterranean Diet consists primarily of fruits and vegetables, seafood, olive oil , healthy grains, and other foods that help fight heart disease, certain cancers , diabetes , and cognitive decline.

It’s a diet worth pursuing; Switching from pepperoni and pasta to fish and avocado may take some effort, but you could soon be on a path to a healthier, longer life.

What is?

In the last 50 years, what we think of as Mediterranean fare has changed. Many of us envision massive three-hour parties with multiple plates of pizza, lasagna, racks of lamb, long white buns, and endless bottles of wine .

But the true Mediterranean Diet is based on fruits, vegetables, grains, olive oil and with maybe a glass or two of red wine . This is how the people of Crete, Greece and southern Italy ate in the 1960s, when their rates of chronic disease were among the lowest in the world and their life expectancy among the highest, despite having only medical services. limited.

And the true Mediterranean Diet is about more than just eating fresh, healthy foods. Daily physical activity and sharing meals with others are vital elements of the Mediterranean Diet Pyramid. Together, they can have a profound effect on your mood and mental health and help you foster a deep appreciation for the pleasures of eating healthy and delicious foods.

Of course, making changes to your diet is rarely easy, especially if you’re trying to move away from the convenience of processed foods. But the Mediterranean Diet can be an inexpensive and satisfying way to eat very healthy.

Mediterranean Diet Pyramid:

In 1993, Oldways created the Mediterranean Diet Pyramid – in partnership with the Harvard School of Public Health and the WHO – as a healthier alternative to the original USDA food pyramid. Today, the Mediterranean Diet is more popular than ever, with new research every month documenting its benefits.

What foods are included?

  • Fresh fruits and vegetables (especially leafy greens like spinach, kale, and non-starchy vegetables like eggplant , cauliflower, artichoke, tomato , and fennel)
    olive oil ;
  • Nuts and seeds (such as almonds and sesame seeds used to make tahini)
  • Legumes and beans (especially lentils and chickpeas used to make hummus)
  • Herbs and spices (such as oregano , rosemary , and parsley );
  • Whole grains;
  • Fish and seafood caught at least twice a week;
  • High-quality pasture-raised poultry, eggs , cheese , goat’s milk , and probiotic-rich kefir or yogurt consumed in moderation;
  • Red meat consumed on special occasions or about once a week;
  • Plenty of fresh water and some coffee or tea.


A traditional Mediterranean diet , which consists of high amounts of fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, fish and olive oil , along with physical activity can reduce your risk of serious mental health problems. Now, here are some details of the Mediterranean Diet Health Benefits:

1. Prevents heart disease and strokes:

Following a Mediterranean Diet limits your intake of refined breads, processed foods, and red meat, and encourages consumption of red wine over hard liquor — all factors that can help prevent heart disease and stroke.

2. Keeps you agile:

If you are an elderly person, nutrients gained from a Mediterranean Diet can reduce your risk of developing muscle weakness and other signs of frailty by about 70%.

3. Reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s disease:

Research suggests that the Mediterranean Diet may improve cholesterol , blood sugar levels, and overall blood vessel health, which in turn may reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia .

4. Reduces the risk of parkinson’s disease:

The high levels of antioxidants in the Mediterranean Diet can prevent cells from going through a harmful process called oxidative stress, thus reducing the risk of Parkinson ‘s disease in half.

Increasing longevity. By reducing your risk of developing heart disease or cancer with the Mediterranean Diet , you reduce your risk of death by 20% at any age. Protecting against type 2 diabetes. A Mediterranean diet is high in fiber , which digests slowly, prevents large swings in blood sugar, and can help maintain a healthy weight.

Help with weight loss?

While some people fear that eating a Mediterranean-like diet that is relatively high in fat (think olive oil , olives, avocado and a little cheese ) will keep them fat, more research is suggesting the opposite is true. Of course, this depends on which aspects you adopt and how it compares to your current diet.

If, for example, you create a “calorie deficit” in your plan – consuming fewer calories than your maximum daily intake or losing more by exercising – you should lose a few pounds. How quickly and whether you keep them is up to you.


The following is an example of a 3-day Mediterranean Diet menu :

1 Day:

Breakfast: 1 wholemeal bread with ricotta seasoned with herbs, 1 glass of skimmed milk plus 1 slice of papaya ;
Morning snack: butter + 2 chestnuts plus 3 wholegrain rice toast ;
Lunch/Dinner: 2 boiled potatoes plus half a slice of grilled salmon plus 2 tablespoons of peas plus curly lettuce , tomato and red onion salad plus 1 pear ;
Afternoon snack: 1 natural yogurt + 1 teaspoon of flaxseed + 1 tapiocawith light cheese + 1 banana ;

2 Days:

Breakfast: apple and banana smoothie made with skimmed milk plus 2 tablespoons of oatmeal ; Morning snack: 1 glass of green juice of cabbage , carrots and lemon plus 5 cookies like Maria or cornstarch ; Lunch/Dinner: 4 tablespoons of brown rice , 1 grilled chicken breast steak with tomato sauce plus 2 tablespoons of beans plus coleslaw, grated carrots and grated beets + 1 slice of pineapple ;
Afternoon snack: 1 natural yogurt plus 1 whole wheat bread with cottage cheese + 10 strawberries .

3 Days:

Breakfast: Oatmeal porridge , made with 200 ml of skimmed milk plus 2 tablespoons of oat flakes plus 1 level tablespoon of cocoa;
Morning snack: 1 teaspoon of chia plus 1 natural yogurt ;
Lunch/Dinner: sautéed cabbage salad with onion , tuna pasta with pesto sauce, using whole wheat pasta , garlic and eggplant plus 1 orange ;
Afternoon snack: 1 glass of beet juice ,ginger , carrot , lemon and apple plus 1 wholemeal bread with ricotta cheese .

Useful links: 

This menu should preferably be made using fresh vegetables, and it is important to remember to add 1 teaspoon of olive oil to your lunch and dinner plate.

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