Mediterranean Diet Basics
The Mediterranean diet is a type of diet which closely follows the foods/meals eaten by the people in the Mediterranean region in Europe (Italy, France and other countries) as it has been known for a long time that people in this region, who follow this type of diet tend to have lower levels of heart disease and are healthier than people following a Western diet.
The benefits of this type of diet were confirmed by the famous Lyon Diet Heart Study as well as other independent studies by other organisations in Australia and other countries.
The basics of the Mediterranean diet are:
- Olive oil is a must for cooking and in salads
- Fresh, raw salad must be eaten each day
- Fish is recommended 3-4 time a week
- Red meat is not banned, but is limited to 3-4 times a month
- Freshly prepared meals are highly recommended
- Processed foods are banned from this diet
- Highly saturated fat is not part of this diet
The good thing about the Mediterranean diet is that it is not a restrictive diet and allows for sweets, but everything in moderation
- de Lorgeril M, Salen P, Martin JL, Monjaud I, Delaye J, Mamelle N. Mediterranean diet, traditional risk factors, and the rate of cardiovascular complications after myocardial infarction: final report of the Lyon Diet Heart Study. Circulation. 1999 Feb 16;99(6):779-85.
- Kris-Etherton P, Eckel R H, Howard BV, St. Jeor S, Bazzarre T L, for the Nutrition Committee Population Science Committee and Clinical Science Committee of the American Heart Association. Lyon Diet Heart Study. Benefits of a Mediterranean-Style, National Cholesterol Education Program/American Heart Association Step I Dietary Pattern on Cardiovascular Disease. Circulation. 2001; 103: 1823-1825