“Mediterranean diet” is a generic term based on the traditional eating habits in the countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea.
A Mediterranean-style diet can help you achieve the American Heart Association’s recommendations for a healthy dietary pattern that:
- Emphasizes vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans and legumes.
- Includes low-fat or fat-free dairy products, fish, poultry, non-tropical vegetable oils and nuts; and
- Limits added sugars, sugary beverages, sodium, highly processed foods, refined carbohydrates, saturated fats, and fatty or processed meats.
This style of eating can play a big role in preventing heart disease and stroke and reducing risk factors such as obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. There is evidence that a Mediterranean diet rich in virgin olive oil help the body remove excess cholesterol from arteries and keep blood vessels open.