May is International Mediterranean Diet Month, and that's cause for celebration. Why is the Mediterranean diet such a big deal? It benefits your body and your tastebuds, plus it doesn't exclude the good stuff — you can be on a "Med diet" and still enjoy red wine, poultry, and dairy in moderation, and small amounts of sweets and lean meats. In short, the Mediterranean diet is one of the easiest, healthiest, and tastiest non-diets out there.
The science supporting the Med diet has been mounting for a half century and is now conclusive. As the results keep pouring in, even with the recent cardiovascular study, we know the Mediterranean diet is the trifecta of healthy eating — blending easy, affordable, and delicious . And it’s trending, from individuals and families to food bloggers and restaurants, more and more people are tapping into this model for sustainable, healthy eating.
As the world celebrates Mediterranean foods all month long, we invite you to take our quiz — How Mediterranean is Your Diet? — to see how your eating habits stack up to this gold standard for health. Try your hand at some of our favorite Mediterranean diet recipes, or order a copy of our 4-Week Mediterranean Diet Menu Plan book for enough inspiration to last you well into June. Show us how you celebrate on social media with the hashtag #MedDietMonth; follow Oldways on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest to see our mouthwatering Med food photos. And stay tuned for more installments of our Med Diet Month blog series, featuring Q&As with Michael Pollan, Dani Neirenburg of Food Tank, Dr. Antonia Trichopoulou, and more.
Eat Like a Mediterranean (Sung to this tune)
- Eat lots of vegetables. From a simple plate of sliced fresh tomatoes drizzled with olive oil and crumbled feta cheese to stunning salads, garlicky greens, fragrant soups and stews, healthy pizzas, or oven-roasted medleys, vegetables are vitally important to the fresh tastes and delicious flavors of the Med Diet.
- Change the way you think about meat. If you eat meat, have smaller amounts – small strips of sirloin in a vegetable sauté, or a dish of pasta garnished with diced prosciutto.
- Enjoy some dairy products. Eat Greek or plain yogurt, and try smaller amounts of a variety of cheeses.
- Eat seafood twice a week. Fish such as tuna, herring, salmon, and sardines are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, and shellfish including mussels, oysters, and clams have similar benefits for brain and heart health.
- Cook a vegetarian meal one night a week. Build meals around beans, whole grains, and vegetables, and heighten the flavor with fragrant herbs and spices. Down the road, try two nights per week.
- Use good fats. Include sources of healthy fats in daily meals, especially extra-virgin olive oil, nuts, peanuts, sunflower seeds, olives, and avocados.
- Switch to whole grains. Whole grains are naturally rich in many important nutrients; their fuller, nuttier taste and extra fiber keep you satisfied for hours. Cook traditional Mediterranean grains like bulgur, barley, farro and brown, black or red rice, and favor products made with whole grain flour.
- For dessert, eat fresh fruit. Choose from a wide range of delicious fresh fruits — from fresh figs and oranges to pomegranates, grapes and apples. Instead of daily ice cream or cookies, save sweets for a special treat or celebration.
Bonus: Try singing "Eat Like a Mediterranean" to this song. We bet you'll be enjoying a Med diet during Med Diet Month and all year long.