What is the Mediterranean Diet?

May 9, 2019

Individuals following a Mediterranean-style diet have better results when it comes to cholesterol-lowering, blood pressure control and frequency of heart attack and stroke.

Although not without its detractors, the Mediterranean diet is internationally recognized as a healthy approach to cholesterol levels and other factors associated with an increased risk for cardiovascular disease. In fact, research confirms that individuals following a Mediterranean-style diet have equal or better outcomes when it comes to cholesterol-lowering, blood pressure control and frequency of heart attack and stroke compared to medications like the statins. And it does all this without the adverse side effects of the statin medications like Lipitor and Zocor.

So what is it? Here are some of the chief components:

  • Focus on fruits, vegetables, bread and other cereals, potatoes, beans, nuts and seeds
  • Monounsaturated fat sources like olive, canola, safflower and sesame oils
  • Fish and poultry consumed in low to moderate amounts
  • Red meat eaten once or twice monthly
  • Eggs consumed zero or no more than four times per week
  • Red wine in low to moderate amounts (5oz. and 10oz daily for women and men respectively).

This is Dr. Jim for Be Healthy! Be Happy! Power your path to happiness! Follow the Mediterranean diet, exercise most days of the week, get your weight in line and subscribe to Be Healthy! Be Happy! with Dr. Jim on YouTube.


Eustruch, R., et al, 2018. Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease with a Mediterranean Diet Supplemented with Extra-Virgin Olive Oil or Nuts. The New England Journal of Medicine. Online [available at]: https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1800389

American Heart Association, 2018. Mediterranean Diet. Online [available at]: https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/eat-smart/nutrition-basics/mediterranean-diet Accessed April 20, 2019

Chiavaroli, L., et al, 2018. Portfolio Dietary Pattern and Cardiovascular Disease: A systematic review and meta-analysis of controlled trials. Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases, Vol. 61, Issue 1, May-June 2018. Pp. 43-53. Online [available at]: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S003306201830094X Accessed April 20, 2019.