Is The Mediterranean Diet the Healthiest Diet?

The Mediterranean diet has been called the “healthiest” diet of all, and my brother, Craig, a physician, sites research to his patients quite often as the most highly recommended diet. As a Nutritionist, I have studied a lot about it too, but when I was in Italy last month, I became a true believer. I traveled for seven full days in Italy eating six and eight course meals for lunch and dinner served with wine. I also didn’t exercise the entire week (very unlike me). When I came home and realized I actually lost weight, I was stumped. I thought about what ingredients comprised those extravagant meals, and I realized how pure all the food was. This shot was taken on my trip touring the beautiful land of the Le Marche Region of Italy.

Some Key Components of the Mediterranean Diet Include:

1. Plenty of exercise

2. Eating primarily plant based foods

3. Replacing butter with olive and canola oils

4. Using herbs and spices instead of salt to flavor foods

5. Limiting red meat to no more than a few times a month. Eat more vegetables.

6. Eating fish and poultry at least twice a week.

7. Drinking red wine in moderation.

8. Eat fruit for dessert

9. Eat small portions of high-quality foods.

10. Eat yogurt and cheese as your main dairy products.

11. This diet conveys the importance of enjoying meals with friends and family.

Top Foods on The Mediterranean Diet

-Fish and Seafood

-Olive oil or canola oil

-Fruits and Vegetables

-Nuts

-Beans

-Cereal

-Red wine

Rich in vegetables, fruits, legumes, cereals, fish oil and even red wine, this diet is lower in saturated fat and has been said to reduce risks of cancers, heart disease and more.

Other Great Attributes about a Mediterranean diet:

1) A diet rich in fruits, grains, nuts, can reduce risk of obesity, cancer, heart disease, diabetes and alzheimers.

2) This diet is high in fiber which is great for decreased risk of diabetes and stomach issues.

3) This diet is filled with a good supply of mono-unsaturated fats found in fish, avocados, olive and canola oil which can help fight disease from the cellular level.

4) This is a diet people can stick to and actually enjoy.

21 thoughts on “Is The Mediterranean Diet the Healthiest Diet?”

  1. Wow, this is a great post. I am so glad to learn more about this as we haven’t heard much about it in a while. Beautiful pictures

  2. Well said! This is the diet I followed all my life, which living in Portugal until recently was pretty easy as the quality of ingredients (especially produce and fresh fish, but also olive oil, good wine and as you may have seen in the stores in Italy, hundreds of yogurt options) is essential. I think it’s a matter of lifestyle too and how the cities are built. Here in US I find most cities non walkable, so people have to drive their cars to go anywhere. Love your post and makes me want to go back to Italy, where I feel like home. Thank you.

  3. I love all of these ingredients so it shouldn’t be very difficult. I like that it is a diet so many of us can actually stick to

  4. This is the best diet not just for health reasons, but it’s an insane excuse to eat magnificently delicious wonderful things (which happen to be in full bloom at the moment). If ever I were to choose one diet, this one would be it.

  5. I”m another M.D, and I truly side with Craig and believe this is the best diet out there. I highly recommend it daily. Nice of you to provide this information to your readers

  6. There was an article in the NYT (a great one!) a while ago that talked about this. The Mediterranean diet came in a close second in a series of carefully measured tests…the winner was a diet that follows the traditional diet of your ancestors…ie you test your DNA and eat according to it. The (irish-blooded) reporter was healthier when he ate carb-heavy traditional Irish diet. You should check it out!

  7. YUM! This is exactly how my favorite way to eat all the time and wish it were more mainstream here. Thanks for confirming my thinking that this is the simplest, healthiest and also most delicious way of eating!!

  8. I did my senior thesis paper on poly/monounsaturated fatty acids and the biggest reason for Mediterranean Diet success is because of the extra virgin olive oil. It acts as a super potent anti-oxidant which promotes intestinal health and lessens post-prandial GI dysfunction. A couple studies I used in my paper showed direct correlation between EVOO intake (extra virgin olive oil) and the subjects ability to lose weight. Even if you can’t follow all of the guidelines, simply using EVOO in your every day cooking can have major beneficial health effects over time.

  9. I am so glad I found a blog that is not all about Paleo because there are other diets out there that work it all depends on the individual and I am happy to know more about Italy as I plan to travel there soon!

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