Mediterranean Diet

Which is the Best Diet?

Atkin's Diet

Jenny Craig Diet

Mediterranean Diet

Ornish Diet

Paleolithic (Caveman) Diet

Slim Fast Diet

South Beach Diet

Vegan Diet

Volumetrics Diet

Weight Watchers Diet


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Mediterranean Diet:

The Basic Premise:

Lose weight by eating foods that are based on the dietary patterns of Crete, Greece, and Southern Italy.

Allowable Foods:

  • Olive oil
  • Legumes
  • Unrefined Cereals
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Fish
  • Dairy (as cheese and yogurt)
  • Wine
Exclusions fall into the meat and meat products categories, eggs

Brief History:

First publicized in 1945 by the scientist Ancel Keys (America), the commonly accepted introduction of this diet came in the 1990s by Dr. Walter Willett of Harvard. It is based on a paradox in mainstream nutrition and claims that although Mediterranean peoples consume relatively high amounts of fat, they see far lower rates of cardiovascular disease compared to countries like the United States, where similar fat consumption levels are found.

Diet is only part of the reason for Mediterranean health benefits. A healthy lifestyle (physically active) is also beneficial. Environment may play a part too. The benefits for cardiovascular health are primarily correlative reflecting a very real disparity in the geographic incidence, but proving the causal determinant has been difficult. Some argue the higher solar ultraviolet radiation found in these countries may contribute.

A recent (2013) Spanish study followed 7500 people for 5 years and found that those adhering to the diet supplemented with mixed nuts and olive oil saw a 30% reduction in cardiovascular risk and a 49% decrease in stroke risk.

Dietary Practice:

The Mediterranean diet emphasizes abundant plant foods, fresh fruit, olive oil as the principal source of fat, low to moderate consumption of fish and poultry, zero eggs, red meat in low amounts. It is cited as being low in saturated fat and high in monounsaturated fat and dietary fiber. It is also high in salt content.

Physical Activity:

In accordance with the Mediterranean lifestyle, physical activity is recommended, be that through regular exercise, an active lifestyle (as opposed to sedentary), or jobs that include manual labor. However, there is no prescribed or recommended exercise regemine.


DISCLAIMER: For all dietary recommendations, consult your primary physician to determine what is best for your
individual goals and health conditions.

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