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A Quick Food Guide To The Mediterranean Diet

What country has the best diet? Studies have proven that the Mediterranean diet that is eaten in Mediterranean is substantially healthier than what the average American eats. People who follow it live longer and have lower rates of cardiovascular disease and cancer. Studies also suggest that it can make a difference for those at all ages and stages of disease (like people who have had a heart attack already).

There is a lot of data to back up this conclusion. A huge National Institute of Health study (the gold standard in health studies) of 380,296 people between 50 and 71 years old showed that people who ate a diet similar to Mediterranean diet had a lower mortality rate (lived longer) than those whose diets were unlike the Mediterranean diet. Over a lifetime, the results can be quite dramatic.

What is a Mediterranean Diet?

A strict Mediterranean diet is the historical cuisine of south Italy, Greece, Turkey and the Eastern Mediterranean region. The diet in these countries is mostly plant-based. It is rich in fruits, vegetables and nuts. It minimizes red meat, lessens dairy, and emphasizes fish. It replaces salt with herbs and spices. Rather than butter, the diet relies on olive oil. A traditional Mediterranean meal includes wine (which doctors say is optional) and is complemented by exercise.

This diet puts healthier fats (unsaturated) in your body rather than the fats primarily responsible for disease (saturated and trans). It provides lots of minerals, vitamins and fiber through fruits, vegetables and whole grains. It has the necessary omega 3 from fish. Nuts and legumes make up more of the protein intake than they do in a normal American meat-based diet.

You don’t have to be a vegetarian or vegan to eat this diet. A Mediterranean diet is about the foods a person predominantly eats. You can have sweets and red meat infrequently, but the core of Mediterranean diet is fruits and vegetables.

You see from the Mediterranean food pyramid below that it shares a lot with the Harvard School of Public Health’s plate. The Harvard plate is the basis for the less detailed US government’s MyPlate (replaces US Gov. food pyramid). They all share a lot because they both cause similar healthy outcomes.

A Mediterranean diet gives you a wide array of food to choose from and it’s likely that you enjoy many of those foods already. But before you get started, remember to consult your doctor to make sure this diet is right for you.

Our Mediterranean Diet Friendly Food

At Bodrum, customers can quickly and easily order food that fits perfectly within the Mediterranean diet as our food comes from that area of the world. We also have 4 traditional Mediterranean salads, along with many vegetable based mezes. For those cold winter days, we have hot homemade red lentil soup.

The major difference between countries with strict Mediterranean diets and those that are less strict is red meat. We also use consistently use olive oil over other inferior cooking oils so you consume the right kind of fats.

Eating food should taste good and be good for you. At Bodrum, with a menu dominated by healthy choices, it’s not so hard to choose a healthy and long life.

Mediterranean Diet Pyramid courtesy of

Copyright Sanford Pinna, M.D.

Creative Commons Photos from Flickr