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
HOW ‘BOUT THEM APPLES? posted on Sep 19
This is a rough time of year for someone like me, as I try desperately to hold onto summer for as long as possible. I bristle at each and every reference to Labor Day, which now apparently serves as the bellwether of summer’s demise (it …Continue Reading HOW ‘BOUT THEM APPLES?
Goodbye berries, Hello Apples! posted on Sep 18
Saying farewell to summer fruits and vegetables can be hard. But, once you remember all of the delicious produce that the autumn harvest brings, the season just gets better and better. Apples are one of my favorite fruits of the fall. There are many varieties …Continue Reading Goodbye berries, Hello Apples!
Highlights of the September 17th Public Health Council Meeting posted on Sep 17
This month’s meeting of the Public Health Council featured a series of three Determination of Need (DoN) requests, a status update on draft regulations related to immunizations, and two informational presentations on two key Department initiatives. The Council first took up a Determination of Need application with …Continue Reading Highlights of the September 17th Public Health Council Meeting