The Mediterranean Diet on a plate

Diet

We advise people with raised cholesterol to eat the Mediterranean diet - but what, exactly does it consist of?


Daniel Grant
MBBS BSc

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It’s no secret that a lot of people who live around the Mediterranean enjoy longer, healthier lives than most of the rest of world. There’s no set definition of the Mediterranean Diet but it can be distilled down into something really palatable!

Research has shown that the Mediterranean Diet is associated with reductions in overall mortality, cardiovascular disease, cancer, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. It has even been linked with a reduced risk for colon, prostate and breast cancer.

Here are the key aspects of the diet to follow:

  • At least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables every day (2 and a half of each).
  • Whole grains (whole wheat bread, brown rice, barley, etc.)
  • Base your meal with these starchy whole grains (rice, pasta, barley etc.).
  • Include beans, nuts and seeds.
  • Include healthy fats such as olive oil.
  • Low to moderate amounts of fish, poultry and dairy. 
  • Little to no red meat. 
  • Take your time eating. 
  • Alcohol – sensible wine consumption. 
  • Cut out fizzy drinks, juices, sweets, cakes and biscuits. 
  • Drink plenty of water each day.

If you are vegetarian or vegan then the diet is ostensibly the same, you just cut out the meat fish and dairy and replace as appropriate with healthy protein substitutes. 


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