So, What is the Mediterranean Diet

March 2, 2016

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So, What is the Mediterranean Diet?
Photo Courtesy of: Katelyn Coe 

It’s Less of a Diet and More of a Lifestyle

What does the evidence-based traditional Mediterranean diet really mean? Well, it is hard to define because it incorporates diet patterns from various countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea.

The word “diet” has a negative connotation of being restrictive, but this is more of a lifestyle. According to Ancel Keys, and the Seven Country Study, “The food is highly palpable, prevents chronic disease, promotion of greater longevity and quality of life.”

This diet is built around plant based foods with olive oil as the main source of fat, while consuming high intake of fruits, vegetable, whole grains, legumes, nuts, cereals (cereals are defined as grains, rice, and pastas; not to be confused with Coco Puffs and Frosted Flakes you may find in the grocery store). Dairy products, red meat, fish, poultry, and eggs are consumed in low amounts. Also, wine in moderation and physical activity are incorporated in this lifestyle. The last key component is “enjoyment of food and sharing of meals.” This is one of the most basic concepts of the Mediterranean diet. A meal isn’t something you cram into your schedule. Eating is a social event, which should be enjoyed with conversations from friends and family.

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