The Mediterranean diet is based on the traditional eating patterns of peoples in countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea. Rather than focusing only on food, it is based on a healthy lifestyle that emphasizes healthy eating, being physically active, and enjoying meals with friends and family.
Characteristics of the Mediterranean diet:
• Consuming a variety of plant-based foods, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts
• Replacing butter with healthy fats, such as olive oil (an important monounsaturated fat source), and limiting other sources of saturated fats (red meats, cream, etc.)
• Using herbs and spices instead of salt and sugar to flavor foods
• Limiting red meat to no more than a few times a month
• Substituting fish and poultry for red meat
• Switching to skim milk, fat-free yogurt, and low-fat cheese
• Drinking red wine in moderation (optional, and in low-to-moderate amounts)
• Being physically active
• Enjoying meals with family and friends
Benefits of the Mediterranean diet:
Research has shown that the traditional Mediterranean diet reduces the risk of heart disease and lowers the death rate in populations. A study involving 1.5 million healthy adults indicated that following a Mediterranean diet was associated with a significant improvement in health, including a significant reduction in the overall illness and death rate from cardiovascular disease and cancer, and had a protective effect on Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases (Adherence to Mediterranean diet and health status).
The Mediterranean diet is more of a way of life than a fad regimen that restricts your food intake. You don’t need special supplies or expensive equipment to start. For more information on the Mediterranean diet, please visit:
By Lisa Cui and Cynthia Taft Bayerl
Lisa is a student in the Master of Science in Nutrition program at Boston University, and Cynthia (RD MS LDN), is the Nutrition Coordinator for the Division of Prevention and Wellness at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
Tags: active, active living, community, Department of Public Health, DPH, eating, food, fresh, fruit, health, healthy, Healthy Dining, healthy eating, healthy foods, Mass in Motion, nutrition, physical activity, vegetables
It’s Not Too Late to Get a Flu Vaccine! posted on Dec 5
As the busy schedule of the holiday season approaches, now is a great time to get a flu vaccine if you have not gotten vaccinated yet. A flu vaccine can protect you and your loved ones. Everyone 6 months of age and older should get …Continue Reading It’s Not Too Late to Get a Flu Vaccine!
Weekly Flu Report, December 2, 2016 posted on Dec 2
The latest weekly flu report shows that rates of flu-like illness rose slightly in the past seven days in Massachusetts. Still, it’s safe to say that flu season has yet to really kick in – which means there is still time to protect yourself and your family …Continue Reading Weekly Flu Report, December 2, 2016
Keeping the Balance During the Holiday Season! posted on Nov 29
By Tracey Munson and Meaghan Sutherland The holiday season is on our doorstep, accompanied by an endless supply of gravy, fudge, gingerbread, and figgy pudding (okay, maybe not that last one). While enjoying some of these foods is something we look forward to every year, …Continue Reading Keeping the Balance During the Holiday Season!