The Mediterranean Diet is thought of to be one the best diets in the world. It’s the diet followed by people who live along the Mediterranean Sea and they have some of the lowest rates of breast cancer, colon cancer, and heart disease in the world. The Mediterranean diet has several characteristic components.
1. Olive Oil – Replaces most of the fats, oils, butters, and margarine.
2. Breads – Consumed daily. Dark, chewy, crusty loaves.
3. Pasta, Rice, Couscous, Bulgur, Potatoes – Often served with fresh vegetables. Dark rice is preferred and wheat flour as opposed to white flour. Unbleached ingredients as opposed to bleached and fortified.
4. Grains – Cereals such as wheat, oat, and bran buds.
5. Fruits – 2 to 3 pieces daily. Examples: cantaloupe, peaches, apricots. Fresh is best, frozen is next, canned is worst.
6. Beans – Pinto, Great Northern, Navy, Kidney.
7. Nuts – Almonds and walnuts preferred.
8. Vegetables – Dark green vegetables, also cabbage broccoli, cauliflower, turnip greens, mustard greens, carrots, spinach, sweet potatoes (at least one of those daily).
9. Cheese and Yogurts – The best yogurt is fat free and not frozen.
A Few Times A Week
10. Fish – Cold water best. Cod, salmon, mackerel, trout. All are high in omega 3 fatty acids (EFA’s).
11. Poultry – 2 to 3 times a week. White breast meat is best without skin.
12. Eggs – In small amounts 2 to 3 times per week.
Two to Three Times a Month
13. Lean Red Meats – Largely any meat other than chicken, fish, and turkey.