The Mediterranean Diet: What is it and what are the health benefits?

The traditional Cretan Mediterranean diet is a simple plant based peasant-style diet. It is associated with lower risk of heart disease, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and longevity. This high fat diet does not lead to weight gain.

So what comprises the Mediterranean Diet?

  1. Use olive oil as the main added fat - 60mls per day (3 tablespoons per day).

  2. Eat vegetables with every meal: include leafy greens and tomatoes – Include 100g leafy greens (1 cup of cooked), 100g of tomatoes (1 whole medium), 200g of other veggies.

  3. Include at least two legume meals per week – 250g serve x 2 /week (1 cup of cooked beans=serve).

  4. Eat at least 2 serves of fish per week – 150-200g serves, twice per week (include oily fish).

  5. Eat meat (beef, lamb, pork, chicken) less often (smaller portions).

  6. Eat fresh fruit every day – between meals as snacks or for dessert.

  7. Eat yoghurt everyday – cheese in moderation.

  8. Choose wholegrain breads and cereals “moderate portions”.

  9. Consume wine in moderation and always with meals – 1-2 glasses per day and always with meals.

  10. Sweets for special occasions only!

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