How Does the Mediterranean Diet Work?
- Fill your plate with a wide range of foods.
- Eat fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, legumes, olive oil, herbs and spices daily.
- Eat seafood and fish at least twice a week.
- Poultry, eggs, cheese and yogurt are OK in moderation.
- Red meat and sweets are best reserved as occasional treats.
- The occasional glass of red wine is acceptable.
This type of low-fat eating pattern leaves little room for the saturated fat, added sugars and sodium that inundate the standard American diet. People who eat a Mediterranean-style diet have longer lifespans, report a higher quality of life and are less likely to suffer from chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease.
There are a lot of misconceptions about the Mediterranean diet – namely that eating mounds of starchy pasta and processed cheese food meets the requirements of a Mediterranean diet plan. While you could eat a small amount of whole-wheat pasta on the Mediterranean eating plan, it would be topped with plenty of fresh vegetables and beans, dressed with olive oil and perhaps sprinkled with a small amount of natural cheese.