Mediterranean diet: everything you need to know

The Mediterranean diet has long been considered the peak of healthy eating, with those around the Mediterranean sea experiencing lower rates of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer than those in the US. Mediterranean countries also have a higher life expectancy, with Spain having one of the highest in the world at 83.2 versus 78.5 in the US. This is thought to be due to the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of a diet high in starchy, fibrous foods, vegetables and fish.

The main characteristics of the Mediterranean diet are that it is low in saturated fat, sugar and heavily processed foods, which are similar to the healthy living guidelines laid out by the USDA. There is evidence (opens in new tab)that the Mediterranean diet can contribute to effective weight loss too. Fresh, fibrous foods and diets high in lean protein are generally quite filling, which can help with maintaining a healthy weight.

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