RadioBDC Logo
| Listen Live
< Back to front page Text size +

What is the Mediterranean Diet and How to Follow It

Posted by Joan Salge Blake  February 26, 2013 03:25 PM

E-mail this article

Invalid E-mail address
Invalid E-mail address

Sending your article

Research continues to pile up about the health advantages of the Mediterranean Diet.

It all started circa 1960 in several areas of the Mediterranean region, specifically the Greek island of Crete, other areas of Greece and southern Italy.  Researchers were drawn to these areas because the adults living there had very low rates of chronic diseases, such as heart disease and cancer, as well as very long life expectancy.  For examples, the natives of Greece had a rate of heart disease that was 90 percent lower than that of Americans at the time.  (Mind you, heart disease and cancer are still currently two of the top killers of Americans.)

In addition to a physically active lifestyle, these Mediterranean natives consumed a diet that was rich in grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, and nuts.  In fact, more than 60 percent of the calories in their diets in the 1960s were supplied by these high-fiber, nutritionally-dense plant foods.  The majority of the fat in the diet was provided by olives and olive oil, and fish and seafood was enjoyed at least twice a week.  (Note:  the latest recommendation from the USDA is to consume at least two fish meals, especially fatty fish such as salmon, weekly to increase longevity.)

Foods from animal sources were limited as well as sweets.  Water was abundantly consumed throughout the day and low to moderate amounts of wine were enjoyed, typically only with meals.  Equally important, meals were enjoyed with friends and family.

To learn more about each of the components of the diet and how you can easily incorporate more of a Mediterranean style of eating in your diet, visit this fun, interactive Mediterranean Diet Pyramid.

Follow Joan on Twitter at:  joansalgeblake
Originally published on the blog Nutrition and You!.
This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

E-mail this article

Invalid E-mail address
Invalid E-mail address

Sending your article

About the author

Joan Salge Blake, MS, RD, LDN, is a clinical associate professor and registered dietitian at Boston University in the Nutrition Program. Joan is the author of Nutrition &You, 2nd Edition, More »

Health search

Find news and information on:

More community voices

[an error occurred while processing this directive]

Child in Mind

Corner Kicks

Dirty Old Boston

Mortal Matters

On Deck

TEDx Beacon Street


Browse this blog

by category