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On-The-Go Mediterranean Diet

Diet Origins

Years of research support the heart health benefits of the Mediterranean diet, a way of eating which characterizes the cooking style and food choices of people living in countries neighboring the Mediterranean Sea.  This diet can help reduce levels of oxidized low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol which can build up in your arteries. 

Diet Philosophy

The Mediterranean diet includes:

  • Regular exercise.
  • Choose primarily plant-based foods.  This includes fruits and vegetables, whole grain bread and cereals, potatoes, beans, legumes, nuts and seeds.
  • Olive oil is the predominant source of monounsaturated fat as well as canola oil.  These are used in place of butter or margarine.
  • Salt is not used to flavor foods, instead, herbs and spices are used for flavor.
  • Dairy products are included in moderate amounts. 
  • Red meat is allowed in very limited amounts, no more than 3-4 times per month.
  • Eggs are consumed zero to four times per week.
  • Have fish at least twice per week.
  • Finally, red wine is allowed in moderation.

Diet Claims

The Mediterranean diet can reduce your risk for heart disease and some research also supports a reduced risk of incidence of cancer.

Diet Structure

Each meal is based around whole grains, fruits, vegetables, olive and canola oil, beans, nuts, legumes, seeds, herbs and spices.  Healthful, unsaturated fats, such as olive oil, replace saturated fats, such as butter.

Food Restrictions

Meats are limited on this plan, red meat is allowed in very small amounts, no more than 3-4 times per month, and sweets are also limited.


There are no recommended supplements.

Diet Testing

The American Heart Association supports the Mediterranean diet to help reduce your risk for heart disease.  The guidelines for the American Heart Association Mediterranean diet are reflected in the Diet Philosophy. 


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