Mediterranean diet: what it is and how to follow it

Four out of twenty countries with the highest lifespan are home to Mediterranean Diet, one of them being Spain. We will show you how to follow and enjoy it at the same time. It’s not only a diet but also a lifestyle.

27 de agosto de 2018Actualizado el 22 de marzo de 2020

Mediterranean Diet pyramid

What is the Mediterranean Diet?

The Mediterranean Diet is a way of feeding that comes from the Mediterranean countries, which have proved it as a highly healthy diet due to its content in energy nutrients.

How can I follow this diet?

By including daily in your diet ingredients like cereals, vegetables, fruit, extra virgin olive oil, moderate consumption of dairy products, little amount of meat, big amount of fish and a moderate amount of wine in meals.

Is there only one Mediterranean Diet?

Not really. In Greece, they eat more fat than in Italy, for example, while in Italy there is way more pasta than in Spain, where the fish consumption is very high.

What benefits would it have for my health?

Main ingredients of the Mediterranean Diet

It’s considered as a protective diet against cardiovascular risk, preventive upon cancer and other cardiovascular diseases and ischemia as well. 4 out of 20 countries with the highest lifespan are Mediterranean: France, Italy, Spain and Greece.

Would the Mediterranean diet help me to keep an ideal weight?

Absolutely, yes. Different researches show it as a preventive treatment to control overweight and obesity. In addition, it’s an anti-obesity effective treatment also helps dealing with abdominal obesity. Besides, it’s highly effective to control diabetes and glycemia.

What should I eat if I want to follow this diet?

For the main meals, we should always eat fruit and vegetables, one or two servings per meal, as well as carbs. Also, one or two portions to choose among bread, pasta, rice, etc, (wholemeal preferably). Everyday we should have a portion or two of nuts, seeds or olives, 2 or 3 dairy products (better if skimmed), 3-4 servings of olive oil and finally «all we want» of aromatic herbs, spices, garlic and onion, with no added salt.

Legumes are a great source of additional proteins in a veggie diet.

It’s recommendable to have 1-2 poultry servings per week, also recommendable 2 of fish-seafood at least, 2 of legumes, up to 4 of eggs, 2 of meat and 1 of cold cuts. Regarding sweets, it’s recommendable to have just 2 servings per week.
Legumes are a great source of additional proteins

Other recommendations:

  • Eat seasonal food.
  • Eat different ingredients. Try to eat more vegetables and fruit.
  • Shorten the portions. Our lifestyle doesn’t need many calories nowadays.
  • Divide the calories as following: 700kcal breakfast, 500 kcal lunch, 200kcal dinner.
  • Practice a sporting activity on a regular basis.
  • Use spices, herbs and seasoning foods.
  • It’s highly recommendable to drink at least 6 glasses of water every day.
  • Wine can be consumed, but with moderation. Respect religious and social beliefs. Young red wine is better. 2 daily glasses at most.
  • Reduce your consumption of salt.
  • It’s recommended to have lunch before 3.00 pm
  • Have dinner two and a half hours before going to bed. That way you will prevent melatonin from interacting with insulin. During the night the sugar blood level rises.
  • Make some exercise in the morning.
Jesús Sánchez Celada

Jesús Sánchez Celada es Periodista gastronómico y director de la revista Con Mucha Gula. Su contribución al periodismo gastronómico va más allá de Con Mucha Gula, consolidándose como figura multifacética en el panorama... Ver más sobre el autor