Following the Eating Principles of the Mediterranean Diet

By Meri Raffetto, Wendy Jo Peterson

Part of Mediterranean Diet Cookbook For Dummies Cheat Sheet

The Mediterranean diet includes some modern eating principles inspired by traditional diet patterns of certain Mediterranean regions around the 1960s. Following these Mediterranean diet principles may significantly reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer (though other, non-food lifestyle factors also come into play for the health benefits). The main food principles of a traditional Mediterranean diet include the following:

  • Eating five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables each day

  • Enjoying fish or seafood several times a week

  • Eating smaller portion sizes of beef, poultry, and grains

  • Consuming less beef (eating it a couple of times per month rather than a couple of times per week)

  • Incorporating beans and lentils with weekly meals

  • Using healthy fats such as olive oil in place of butter and lard

  • Enjoying nuts with meals and snacks