The principles of the original Mediterranean Diet

OW_MedPyramidThe Mediterranean diet is very varied as there are 21 countries around the Mediterranean Sea. In these countries and even within the regions of each country, there are different eating habits. Still they share the principles of the original Mediterranean Diet, which has the following characteristics:

  • high consumption of plant-based foods (fruits, vegetables,  wholemeal bread, whole grains, potatoes,  legumes, nuts and seeds)
  • olive oil as the primary source of dietary fat
  • dairy products (especially milk, cheese and yoghurt), fish and poultry are used in small quantities
  • red meat is eaten in small amounts
  • wine is consumed in moderation
  • sweets are eaten in moderation (except for fruit)

Other important aspects of the Mediterranean diet are:

  • exercise
  • the social and pleasant aspects of eating healthy and tasty food with others

The “original Mediterranean Diet” refers to the eating patterns and lifestyles of the people around the Mediterranean Sea in the 1960s. Unfortunately, the western fast food, sugar, fat and salt consumption has also found its way to these countries and as a result the healthy eating patterns of the past are being threatened.