The mediterranean diet is a regional diet that is high in fresh fruits, veggies, lean proteins, whole grains, fish and healthy fats like olive oil (along with the occasional glass of wine!). These food types are almost all foods that are proven to be good for you on their own.
The Mediterranean diet has been commonly reported to assist with weight loss and help prevent heart attacks, strokes, type 2 diabetes and premature death.
This controversial study, on over 7,000 participants, is the most famous trial on the Mediterranean Diet. See also the benefits and criticisms here (4) (5)
A study comparing the effects of a Mediterranean diet with a low carb and low fat diet demonstrated; The low-fat group lost 2.9 kg (6.4 lbs), the low-carb group lost 4.7 kg (10.3 lbs) and the Mediterranean diet group lost 4.4 kg (9.7 lbs). (2)
A study comparing the effects of a Mediteranean diet with a low carb and low fat diet showed the the Mediteranean diet reduced the fasting plasma glucose levels and Homa:IR most effectively (2)
In testing a standard western diet against a Mediterranean diet the risk of combined heart attack, stroke and death from cardiovascular disease was reduced by an average of 29% (1)
The first step in adopting a Mediterranean diet is to eat lots of vegetables. Try to substitute veggies where you normally have meat, like sliced tomatoes with olive oil and feta cheese, salads, or soups. Try to consume only healthy fats, such as extra-virgin olive oil, sunflower seeds, olives, nuts, and avocados.
For breakfast, consider whole grains, fruit, and fiber-rich foods.
Most mediterranean dieters eat seafood at least twice a week. Wild fish rich in Omega-3 fatty acid, such as tuna, salmon, herring, and sardines are good choices.
Moderate your consumption of dairy products to about 10% of your daily calories (per the USDA recommendations). When possible, substitute natural (unprocessed) cheese, and Greek or plain yogurt. Fresh fruit is often recommended for dessert.
Make sure to consult your physician to put together a Mediterranean Diet plan that is personalized for you.