How to follow the Mediterranean diet, or “way of life”

25th May, 2014

No doubt you have heard people talking about the Mediterranean diet and how good it is for your health.

There is mounting research to show how the Mediterranean diet can be protective against heart disease, diabetes, some cancers, Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

You can access all the research papers through this website.

Food enjoyed on a Mediterranean diet
Food enjoyed on a Mediterranean diet













So how do you follow a Mediterranean diet?

Associate Professor Catherine Itsiopoulos, from La Trobe University has published a book titled “the Mediterranean diet” explaining the diet in detail and providing many wonderful recipes.

Key ingredients are:

Extra virgin olive oil (40-60ml per day)
Legumes, ~500g per week
Vegetables, ~400-500g per day
Fruit, 2-3 pieces per day
Nuts, aim for 30g per day 
Wholegrain breads, 3-4 slices per day
Fish, especially oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel at least twice per week
Natural or Greek style yoghurt and feta cheese

Smaller serves of meat (beef, lamb, chicken, pork) eaten less often (1-2/week) is recommended, as is limiting sweet foods and drinks to special occasions. 

Red wine is encouraged in moderation, 1-2 glasses per day, only with meals and never to get drunk.

In addition to food, the Mediterranean diet also encompasses a way of life, including growing some of your own produce, home-cooking, food sharing and eating meals sitting down at the family table together. 

Stay tuned as I post tips on how to incorporate these key ingredients into your diet, starting with 40-60ml of olive oil, which is quite a lot!