- high consumption of fruits, vegetables, bread and other cereals, potatoes, beans, nuts and seeds
- olive oil is an important monounsaturated fat source
- dairy products, fish and poultry are consumed in low to moderate amounts, and little red meat is eaten
- eggs are consumed zero to four times a week
- wine is consumed in low to moderate amounts
Peoples of the Southern Mediterranean have lower incidences of heart disease than many other Western countries – and death rates are lower too. It is believed that this is due to the lower consumption of saturated fats in the diet. In a Mediterranean diet olive oil (a monounsaturated fat) is the primary source of fat in the diet. Monounsaturated fat doesn’t raise blood cholesterol levels the way saturated fat does.
But one should not forget that it is not just diet that will lower incidences of heart diseases. Lifestyle factors (such as more physical activity and extended social support systems) may also play a part.
While dieting, one should also spend time and efforts on physical exercise and activities.
There are numerous cookbooks and other books available for Mediterranean-style cooking. See the recommended reading list below.
eDiets have also introduced a Mediterranean Online Diets complete with meal plans, recipes, shopping lists.