There is much to learn about various cultures and their diets. The Mediterranean diet comes from the islands of Italy, Portugal, Greece, Turkey, and Spain and has many healthy benefits.

This type of diet focuses mainly on the consumption of vegetables and fruits, wheat, breads and cereals, olive oil, and fish, which make it high in fibre and low in unhealthy saturated fat. This diet is rich in flavours and nutrients. This diet is known most for its use of olive oil, which improves insulin and blood glucose that the body makes and reduces blood pressure.

There are many great dishes that you can prepare that are part of the Mediterranean diet that you may have already tried before. There are a few general characteristics of the Mediterranean diet:

  • Plant sources are a primary staple in the diet. These foods include whole grains, bulgar and couscous, rice, potatoes, legumes, nuts, and seeds.
  • Meat is restricted as part of the diet and seldom used as a main entree.
  • Locally-grown fruits and vegetables that are fresh and unprocessed.
  • Cheese and dairy products are consumed in small portions.
  • Eggs are used sparingly and at most only four times per week.
  • There are also smaller amounts of poultry and fish in the diet.
  • Honey is used instead of sugar and is only eaten a few times per week.
  • One to two glasses of wine are consumed daily.
  • Not only is olive oil used as cooking oil, it is also the primary source of fat.

Marlene Veloso