5 Key Tips for a Successful Mediterranean Diet

Chronic diseases
Healthy eating
Salade grecque - Greek salad

The Mediterranean diet, inspired by the sun-kissed countries along the Mediterranean Sea, is much more than a mere eating plan. It's a lifestyle that encourages taking care of oneself through improved eating habits and exploring a path to health.

Why Should You Consider the Mediterranean Diet?

Couple âgé dans la cuisine - Old couple in kitchen

  • Heart Health: Enjoy delicious meals while taking care of your heart – it’s possible! The Mediterranean diet, with its healthy fats like olive oil and fatty fish, can reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases. It emphasizes fresh, unprocessed foods, thus preserving your heart health.
  • Weight Management: Forget restrictive diets. This approach focuses on nutrient-rich, low empty-calorie foods (like sugary drinks), promoting a healthy weight and helping you avoid the weight rollercoaster.
  • Diabetes Prevention: With low glycemic index foods, the Mediterranean diet can stabilize your blood sugar levels, a key strategy in preventing and managing diabetes.

What Makes Up the Mediterranean Diet?

Mediterranean Plate

This diet is a celebration of diversity and flavor, based on simple yet powerful principles:

  • Plant Richness: Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts are the true stars of each meal. They provide vitamins, minerals, and dietary fibre, consumed daily.
  • Olive Oil: It advantageously replaces butter and saturated fats, supporting your cardiovascular health.
  • Quality ProteinsLegumes are your allies for regular consumption, while fatty fish provide essential fatty acids. Red meats and poultry are enjoyed more occasionally.
  • Herbs and Spices: Instead of salt, the Mediterranean diet relies on a plethora of herbs and spices to delight your taste buds.
  • Concentrated Sugars: Pastries and sweets are rare treats, reserved for special occasions, making way for fresh, minimally processed foods.

A Visual Model: The Mediterranean Diet Pyramid

Choosing foods becomes easier when you understand this pyramid. The items at the pyramid's base are meant for daily consumption, while as you move up, the foods become more occasional. Here are our top 5 ways to integrate elements of the Mediterranean diet into your daily life:

1. Increase Vegetable Intake

How: Enjoy them raw, in salads, steamed, or grilled. Raw vegetables are also delicious as a snack with homemade hummus.

2. Choose Olive Oil as Your Fat

How: Use olive oil for cooking instead of butter or as a base for dressings.

3. Eat More Fish

HowPlan your meals in advance, making sure to include fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and sardines twice a week.

4. Reduce Red Meat

How: Replace red meat meals with lean protein sources like chickenturkey, legumes, or soy.

5. Prefer Whole Grains

How: Introduce new grains into your diet like quinoabuckwheat, or bulgur for richer, fibre-filled whole grain options.

Mediterranean Diet Pyramid by TeamNutrition

Ready to embark on a journey towards a healthier and more delicious life? Contact a registered dietitian from TeamNutrition for personalized advice and start your journey towards well-being today!


Sources : 

  1. Alimentation méditerranéenne. (s. d.). Institut de Cardiologie de Montréal. https://www.icm-mhi.org/fr/prevention/adopter-saines-habitudes-vie/alim…
  2. La diète méditerranéenne | Diabète Québec. (2014, 13 août). https://www.diabete.qc.ca/le-diabete/la-gestion-du-diabete/alimentation…
  3. LDN, K. D. M., MS, RD. (2019, 21 mars). A practical guide to the Mediterranean diet. Harvard Health. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/a-practical-guide-to-the-mediterranean-diet-2019032116194
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist