A style of eating popularly known as the Mediterranean Diet has been studied for more than six decades.
In the 1950’s, scientists observed that people living in Mediterranean countries had lower rates of heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. Further scientific research supports these findings and has uncovered other health benefits of a Mediterranean-style eating pattern.
A Mediterranean diet typically includes:
• Local and seasonally fresh foods
• Plentiful amounts of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds
• Meats, poultry, eggs, cheese and yogurt in moderate amounts
• Seafood/fish at least two times per week
• Wine in moderate amounts enjoyed with a meal
• Olive oil as a primary fat source
• Herbs and spices used for flavor in cooking instead of salt
• Limited amounts of sweets
It’s a popular misconception that the Mediterranean Diet is a vegetarian diet. While fruits, vegetables and grains are emphasized, red meats like veal can be included. In fact, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans outlines a Mediterranean-style eating pattern that includes both animal and plant sources of protein.