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Mediterranean Diet Foods

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The basics of the Mediterranean Diet are:

  • Heavily Dependent on Plant Foods
  • Low in Saturated Fat - Rich in Monounsaturated Fat
  • Low to Moderate Consumption of Dairy Products
  • Limited Consumption of Fish, Poultry and Red Meat
  • Moderate Consumption of Wine With Meals

What Does Mediterranean Diet Foods Consist of?

  • Emphasis on food from plant sources, including fruits and vegetables, potatoes, breads and grains, beans, nuts, and seeds.
  • Emphasis on a variety of minimally processed and, wherever possible, seasonally fresh and locally grown foods.
  • Olive oil (rich in monounsaturates) as the principal fat. Almost no butter, margarine, or other fats. No trans-fats or hydrogenated fats.
  • Total fat contributing 25-35 percent of calories - saturated fat no more than 8 percent of calories.
  • Daily consumption of low to moderate amounts of cheese and yogurt. Frequently from goats and sheep - even camels.
  • Regular consumption of small amounts of fish and poultry.
  • Fresh fruit as the typical daily dessert.
  • Very small amounts of red meat, eaten occasionally.
  • Moderate consumption of wine with meals; about one to two glasses per day for men and one glass per day for women.

Mediterranean Diet Pyramid

The Mediterranean diet pyramid is an indication of which foods a healthy adult should favor in a healthy Mediterranean diet. It is a general indication of the relative food proportions and frequency of servings.


Mediterranean Diet Pyramid - Acknowledgments

This Mediterranean diet pyramid was the first in a series in development to illustrate geographically the healthy traditional food and dietary patterns of various cultures and regions of the world. This initiative is an outgrowth of a multiyear conference series, \"Public Health Implications of Traditional Diets,\" jointly organized by Harvard School of Public Health, a United Nations World Health Organization/Food and Agriculture Organization (WHO/FAO) Collaborating Center, and Oldways Preservation & Exchange Trust.

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