10 Tips and Types of Mediterranean Food to Live Better

Mediterranean healthy salad

The Mediterranean diet is not just a simple list of good dishes or foods to eat, instead it’s a real lifestyle, a cultural choice, rich in whole ingredients and rituals that make life healthier and people more sociable. 

Maybe it's necesary to spend a few words to explain the context in which this diet: the Mediterranean diet traditionally refers to post-war food habits spread in Southern Italy and Greece. It is therefore a diet that was born in a rural and poor context, where people carried out a very active life, characterized by manual work.  Already at the end of IX century people started to talk about a correlation between eating habits and health, and in the past century the scientific studies gave reason to this idea. In November 2010 the Mediterranean Diet was included in the Unesco List of Immaterial cultural heritage of humanity.

Nowadays in many parts of the world, including some parts of Italy, habits and cahotic rythms make people eat completely without rules. Yet, adopting some simple habits in everyday's life, can really make the difference. Let’s see our top 10 eating tips for good health.

whole-grain pasta

Mediterranean Diet Food List

1. Go Green

Vegetables, cereals (especially whole grains) and fruits are the main Mediterranean foods. Buy fresh, seasonal and natural products and use them for your dishes; consume both fresh and cooked vegetables, and use whole grains ( in the form of bread or pasta) as the base of your diet (almost 8 servings for week). A quick and easy tip: for a healthy daily dessert or snack, eat fresh fruit. 

2. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

The only type of oil that has been shown to have beneficial effects on health is extra virgin olive oil, rich in monounsaturated fats.  It is the  the most pregiate quality of olive oil, and for this reason in the Mediterranean Diet has extra virgin oil is the main source of fat.
Use it raw, to season your fresh salads, but it is great in recipes too and even for frying!

3. Legumes and nuts

Beans, lentils, nuts… are a healthy source of fibre and antioxidantes. Try to eat 3-4 servings of nuts per week. Look for our Mediterranean recipes for beans soup, ribollita soup or lentils salads. Nuts are also good to prevent breast cancer.

4. Less salt, more spice

To flavor your dishes use herbs and spices instead of salt, your recipes will be richer in flavor, and your health will thank you! Thyme, rosemary, oregano, basil, cardamome, ginger, curry, bay, sage, peppercorn (the latter in small quantity) and many more!

5. Fish and Poultry

Instead of a T-bone stak, eat fish and poultry. Well, you can keep eating read meat, but no more than once a week, and make sure it is local meat from organic and free-range farms.

6. Cheese and Yogurt

Consume cheese daily in moderate quantities and, overall, buy only authentic artisanal cheese! Avoid “cheeses” produced by adding chemicals additives, or industrial cheese: select only the best of dairy production.

7. Be Social

Eating is a social ritual, it makes your lunch break more relaxing. Enjoing meals with family and friends helps to get rid of your head by working stress.

8. Water, water, water… and a glass of wine

Water has to became your main beverage, sparkling and sweet soft drink are not the best choice for your health. Another health habit is drink a good red wine during the meal (2 glass/day for men and a 1 glass/day for women). Obviously if you do not drink alcohol you do not need to start now! 

9. Cook

In the Mediterranean culture food preparation has a big place: processed food is bad for health and is often enriched with preservatives. If you are not a master chef or if you do not have much time, start with quick and easy recipes: in this way you will familiarize with the various cooking methods and flavors.

10. Be active

We said that the Mediterraneand diet is not a simply diet but a mood, a way of live… For this reason, the best advice we can give you is to abandon your sedentary life: make sports, walk, swim. Your heart and your body will really appreciate it. 

mediterranean diet pyramid printable

Abobe, a printable Mediterranean diet pyramid.

Mediterranean Diet Benefits

The Mediterranean diet is useful to prevent:

  • Diabetes
  • Hearth and cardiovascular disease
  • Cancer
  • Help weight loss.

Are you ready to start your new diet?