A Mediterranean diet includes fruits and vegetables, legumes, nuts and cereals, olive oil, and fish. It also incorporates low to moderate amounts of dairy products and red meat.
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion: Health.gov. “2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans 8th ed., Appendix 4: USDA Food Patterns: Healthy Mediterranean-Style Eating Pattern.” December 2015.
Let’s Get Started
1. Make half of your plate fruits and vegetables.
2. Start by making meat an ingredient, not the center of the meal. For example, add diced chicken breast to a vegetable sauté, or thread sirloin tips with peppers and onions on kabobs.
3. Enjoy dairy products in moderation. Try Greek or plain yogurt with fresh fruit as a parfait.
4. The USDA Dietary Guidelines recommend eating seafood twice a week. Increase your intake of omega-3s by adding tuna, salmon, herring, or sardines as your protein.
5. Consume monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats in moderation, especially extra-virgin olive oil, nuts, peanuts, sunflower seeds, olives, and avocados.
6. Switch to whole grains. Whole grains are important sources of many nutrients, including dietary fiber. Try bulgur, barley, quinoa, and farro.
7. Satisfy your sweet tooth with fruit for dessert.
For more information about the Mediterranean diet, visit "Mediterranean Diet." American Heart Association. October 11, 2016.