What is the Mediterranean diet?
- The Mediterranean diet is not a “diet”, but an overall pattern of eating that can be adapted to many different styles, cultures, and budget levels.
- The main focus is to get back to the basics. Cook your own food with whole, minimally processed ingredients as often as you can.
Benefits of the Mediterranean diet
- Cardiovascular System (heart, brain & arteries): Can lower the risk for developing heart disease, and can also help lower blood pressure levels and blood cholesterol levels.
- Diabetes: Can improve blood sugar control, which lowers your risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes, and can help improve blood sugar control for those living with pre-diabetes or Type 2 Diabetes.
Foods to include more often
- Fruits and vegetables, such as apples, carrots, bananas, broccoli, cabbage, melon, pear, squash, beets, collard greens, chard, okra, turnip, and many more.
- Whole grains, such as brown rice, whole grain bread, whole grain pasta, quinoa, amaranth, sorghum, millet, buckwheat, barley, and couscous.
- Nuts & seeds, such as almonds, walnuts, Brazil nuts, cashews, chestnuts, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, peanuts, pecans, pili nuts, pine nuts, pistachios, sunflower seeds, tiger nuts, Baru nuts, and many more.
- Legumes, such as chickpeas, all types of beans, peas, lentils, lupins, and many more.
- Fish, such as salmon, mackerel, shrimp, bassa, cod, arctic char, pollock, haddock, and many more.
- Olive oil.
Foods to include in moderation
- Poultry, such as chicken and turkey.
- Low-fat dairy, such as milk, cheese, and yogurt.
- Red Wine.
Foods to limit
- Red meat, such as beef, pork, lamb, and goat.
- Fruit juices.
- Commercial sweets and pastries.
- Highly processed foods.
What are minimally processed foods?
- Minimally processed foods are foods as close to their original forms as humans can eat (ie. steel-cut oats, whole grain bread etc.).
Want more information?
- Speak to your Exercise Therapist.
- View our handout of the Mediterranean Diet.
- Attend our Heart Healthy Education on Heart Healthy Eating and Craving Change.
- Book an appointment with our Registered Dietitian.
- View The Mediterranean Diet Handout: A Guide to Healthy Eating