Mediterranean Diet: The Gold Standard For Health

Let Gymaholic show you how can you bring the mediterranean style to your table, and reap the numerous benefits of this highly praised diet!

Discovering the Mediterranean Diet

You may or may not have heard about it. This diet originated in, surprise, the mediterranean. More specifically though, the basin countries surrounding the mediterranean sea, like France, Greece, Spain and Italy.

It all started with a study called the Seven Countries Study done in the 1950’s. It investigated various countries, noting that strangely, death by coronary heart disease was significantly lower in southern Europe compared to northern Europe and other countries around the world, especially the western world.

The French Paradox is a scientific problem that has plagued scientists for a decades. It was spawned when other scientists were picking apart the seven countries study, noting that France had a particularly low occurrence ofcardiovascular disease and death.

These countries still continue to be among the healthiest countries in the world, with less incidence of those diseases, and a longer life span in general.


The benefits of the mediterranean diet have expanded to not only include reduced risk of coronary heart disease, cardiovascular disease and all cause mortality (death), but also:

  • Cancer (Mainly breast and colon)
  • Adult-Onset Diabetes
  • Fatty Liver Disease
  • Insulin Sensitivity
  • Metabolic Syndrome
  • Cognition (Brain function)
  • Depression & Anxiety
  • Stroke

They have only just scratched the surface for the numerous benefits, and it’s clear that to achieve this number of benefits there has to be multiple causes. It turns out that there is even more to this ‘diet’, than food. The mediterranean lifestylealso plays a part in the health benefits of this diet…

“Rules” of the Diet

Starting with the diet itself, there are no strict parameters yet, but the general rules are based on a specific food pyramid. This diet overall resembles a non-restrictive vegetarian diet.

Weekly servings:

  • Less than 2 servings of sweets
  • Less than 3 servings of potatoes
  • Less than 2 servings of red meat and processed meat
  • Around 2 servings of white meat and 2-4 servings of eggs
  • More than 2 servings of fish
  • More than 2 servings of legumes

Daily servings:

  • About 2 servings of dairy (specifically low fat yogurt and cheeses)
  • 1-2 Servings of olives, nuts and seeds
  • Lots of herbs, spices, garlic, onions to add flavor with less added salt.

Every meal:

  • 1-2 servings of fruits
  • More than 2 servings of vegetables.
  • Regular or extra virgin olive oil, in place of other fats like butter.
  • 1-2 servings of bread, rice, pasta, couscous, and other cereals. *Preferably whole wheat!

Water, tea and moderate, social alcohol consumption (especially wine!) is also very important. Although the diet is a large part of why you get the primary health benefits, combining the diet with the cultural behaviours and social aspects of these countries also promotes those benefits, and is actually considered part of the diet:

  • Regular physical activity
  • Adequate rest
  • Friendliness
  • Diverse and seasonal foods
  • Traditional, local and eco-friendly products
  • Eating, drinking and cooking socially with friends/family

Original post from: gymaholic

All credits goes to: gymaholic