Mediterranean Diet Pocket Guide


The Mediterranean diet is a set of guidelines shaped and inspired by the traditional eating patterns of regions surrounding the Mediterranean, including Southern Italy and Crete. It is important to recognize that there is no official “Mediterranean diet plan” like there is for programs like the Atkins or South Beach diet. Rather, it encourages the consumption of lean proteins in small portions, fruits and vegetables, legumes, whole grains and healthy fats (specifically those high in monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated omega-3 rich fatty acids). The most commonly used visual guide is the Oldways Mediterranean Diet Pyramid.

Major components of the Mediterranean diet include the following:

  • Making plant-based foods (legumes, vegetables, fruits, grains and nuts) the foundation of every meal.
  • Cooking with healthy fats such as olive oil.
  • Limiting red meat.
  • Eating fish/seafood twice a week.
  • Eating no more than three servings a day of dairy products.
  • Using spices and herbs rather than heavily salting your food to increase flavor.
  • Drinking a limited amount of wine (see precautions later).
  • Embracing physical activity.

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