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Mediterranean Diet Pyramid

Mediterranean Diet Pyramid

The Mediterranean Diet Pyramid was developed in 1993 by Oldways, the Harvard School of Public Health, and the World Health Organization. This Mediterranean food pyramid is based on the eating patterns of people in Greece and southern Italy in the 1960s. Greece and southern Italy were chosen since the population in that area was among the healthiest and at the highest life expectancy in the world while having access to only limited medical services (1).

An interesting aspect of this diet that uses the Mediterranean Diet Pyramid is that it recommends daily activity and social connections! It is not surprising that both are encouraged as an active lifestyle (2) and emotional well-being (3) through social connection reduces our drive to overeat to combat stress or reward ourselves for feeling lonely.

Mediterranean Diet Pyramid Foods

Moving upwards, you will see the core foods for everyday consumption to focus around whole grains, beans, nuts, herbs & spices, fruits, vegetables and olive oil. At this point it may seem light on proteins (fish, meat, chicken) and tasteless, but contrary to Western cuisine, many Mediterranean non-protein dishes are so incredibly flavorful and delicious you will easily forget that they don’t include much protein.

Fish and seafood are eaten at least twice a week, as are eggs and chicken. Red meat and sweets are rarely eaten. Water and wine are the typical beverages.

The Mediterranean Diet Pyramid in a Nutshell

Focus on eating fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grains, dried beans, nuts or seeds. Use onion, garlic, herbs and spices to enrich your food, and use olive oil as your main source of fat. Eat more fish and only small amounts of red meat. When you have a sweet tooth, choose fruits whenever possible. Slow down, eat with friends and family, and make a low-intensity daily activity such as walking a part of your daily lifestyle.


(1) Wikipedia, Mediterranean Diet Pyramid: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mediterranean_Diet_Pyramid
(2) Today, Exercise may actually suppress your appetite, two new studies suggest: https://www.today.com/health/exercise-may-actually-suppress-your-appetite-two-new-studies-suggest-1C6971256
(3) Idealshape, Why Happiness Leads To Weight Loss: https://www.idealshape.com/blog/why-happiness-leads-to-weight-loss/