At Oldways, we have long been enamored with Mediterranean cuisine. In celebration of International Mediterranean Diet Month this May—and in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Mediterranean Diet Pyramid!—we’re sharing a few reasons why this eating pattern and lifestyle continues to come highly recommended by chefs and doctors alike.  

To find out the three good reasons to love the Mediterranean Diet, check out our brand new infographic below (and make sure to share with your friends)! Here at Oldways, we’re excited to continue to spread the word about this healthy and nutritious lifestyle. Join us in sharing health through heritage! 

Benefits of the Mediterranean DIet

Good for People

Hardly a week goes by without researchers documenting another health benefit associated with the Mediterranean Diet. Longer lives, lower risks of heart disease in diabetes, and healthier brains and bodies during aging are just a few of the health benefits ascribed to this time-tested eating pattern. 

Better yet, the foods and flavors make the Mediterranean Diet a craveable cuisine, full of color and variety. People in the Mediterranean didn’t live healthfully into their 80s, 90s, and 100s by subsisting on celery sticks and protein shakes; their meals had a heavy dose of flavor and pleasure. It’s no wonder that US News & World Report ranked the Mediterranean Diet as the #1 easiest diet to follow, among several other accolades.

Good for the Planet

The Mediterranean Diet traces its roots back to a time when people were more connected with the food producing process. Because 24-hour convenience stores, meal deliveries, and fast food weren’t an option, people were under more pressure to take care of their land and seas, and the pattern of the Mediterranean Diet reflects this reality.

Today, scientists are increasingly aware that the health of people and the health of the planet go hand-in-hand. In fact, studies indicate that switching to a Mediterranean Diet can cut greenhouse gas emissions, as well as land, water, and energy use, compared to our current highly processed, meat-heavy way of eating. 

Good for the Pocketbook

The journey toward healthy eating doesn’t have to cost a fortune. To see if traditional ways of getting healthy meals on the table stand up to modern food economics, researchers calculated the cost of a 7-day meal plan for an economical version of the USDA MyPlate guidelines, and compared it to that of a plant-based diet with olive oil.

They found that choosing a plant-based diet, instead of the budget MyPlate diet, could save $746.46 per person per year, and provide vastly more servings of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. At the time, a largely vegetarian diet accented with local fish, unrefined grains, and seasonal vegetables may have been considered humble “peasant food,” but today we appreciate the kitchen tips and tricks from the generations of thrifty home cooks that came before us.

Join the Make Every Day Mediterranean Club Facebook group for additional information and support.


Elizabeth Hanley
I always am excited when I head to Greece because I love eating there! It's so delicious and healthy and I try to replicate much of the food when I return home. :-)
Debbie Carroll
I have chronic pain from Rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis, hypothyroid, systematic lupus erythematosis (remission), benign pulmonary nodes, nodules, & depression. Is the Mediterranean diet a good diet to follow? Any foods recommended I should avoid? Thanks
Rosie Foshee
I have been following this diet since August 30, 2017, and staying with it. I had a wake-up call on August 29, 2017. I had a regular screening mammogram and was sent to Margaret West Cancer Center, and was told I had a space in one breast that needed to be watched and to return in 6 months. When I left there I got on the computer, pulled up Mayo Clinic, found a link to the American Institute for Cancer Research, and by that evening I made my mind to switch to a plant based diet, no red meats, no processed cured meats, no sweets. Only whole grains, beans, nuts, vegetables, fruits, occasionally wild caught Alaskan salmon or tuna patties, plant-based almond and soy milk, extra virgin olive oil, Italian seasonings to season my vegetables and whole grains with, At my last mammogram, I was told you're fine, keep up the good work, and you can go back to your regular screening mammograms annually. After this wake-up call, I will never stray from the Mediterranean lifestyle of eating, staying active, maintaining a healthy weight.
Lindy Wang DVM
How would this work for those of us allergic to fish and shelfish? I expect venison would be a low fat substitute for lamb but I'm not big on meat
i think if you do more beans you will be ok
The Med way re?ects a way of eating that is traditional in the countries that surround the Mediterranean Sea and includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, nuts, seeds, and olive oil and limits highly processed foods and added sugar. The Mediterranean diet has been extensively studied and is associated with promoting health and decreasing the risk of many chronic diseases including some forms of cancer, Type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. As such, the Mediterranean way of eating is recommended around the world, including in the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

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