Food for Thought – National Mediterranean Diet Month 2024

Food for Thought

Celebrating Earth Day with Nutritious Choices

The Mediterranean Diet

As May launches into full swing, we can shine a light on a beloved, nutritious, and healthful eating lifestyle, the Mediterranean diet.

At its core, the Mediterranean diet is inspired by the traditional dietary patterns of countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea, such as Greece, Italy, and Spain. While there isn't a strict regimen to follow, the diet emphasizes whole, plant-based foods, healthy fats like olive oil, lean proteins like fish and poultry, and moderate consumption of dairy and wine.

Key Elements of the Mediterranean Diet

Abundance of Fruits and Vegetables

Fresh produce forms the foundation of the Mediterranean diet, providing essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

Basket full of fruits and vegetables

Healthy Fats

Olive oil, a staple of the Mediterranean diet, is rich in monounsaturated fats, which can help lower bad cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease.

Foods containing healthy fats

Lean Proteins

Fish, particularly fatty fish like salmon and mackerel, are consumed regularly, providing omega-3 fatty acids essential for heart and brain health. Additionally, legumes, nuts, and seeds are excellent sources of plant-based proteins.

Foods containing lean proteins

Moderate Dairy

Yogurt and cheese are enjoyed in moderation, providing calcium and probiotics for gut health.

Different dairy foods and drinks

Herbs and Spices

Flavorful herbs and spices such as garlic, basil, and oregano are used liberally, reducing the need for excessive salt and adding extra antioxidants.

Assortment of herbs and spices


Heart Health

Numerous studies have shown that the Mediterranean diet can reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. Its emphasis on healthy fats, lean proteins, and fiber-rich foods supports cardiovascular health.

Heart Health

Weight Management

The Mediterranean diet is not a restrictive diet but rather a lifestyle approach to eating. Its focus on whole, nutrient-dense foods can help with weight management and promote satiety.

Weight management

Brain Health

Research suggests that the Mediterranean diet may lower the risk of cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease due to its emphasis on foods rich in antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids.

Brain Health

Improved Digestion

The abundance of fiber from fruits, vegetables, and whole grains supports healthy digestion and can help prevent constipation and promote gut health.

Improved Digestion

Recipes to Try

– Victoria Reidy, CHES, Wellness Coordinator

Want more?

Check out our previous edition of Food for Thought!

In the vibrant tapestry of global cuisine, Filipino food stands out for its bold flavors, diverse ingredients, and rich cultural heritage. Learn all about typical Filipino foods with our previous edition of Food for Thought!

Banaue Rice Terraces


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In the world of nutrition and health, fats have often been unfairly villainized, leading many to fear their inclusion in their diets. Learn how to re-incorporate fats into your diet with our previous edition of Food for Thought!

fruits and vegetables in shape of heart