Exploring the Mediterranean Diet Pyramid: What to Eat and Why?

Exploring the Mediterranean Diet Pyramid: What to Eat and Why?
7 min read

Everyone loves a diet that is healthy and delicious. You probably, if not definitely, have heard about the Mediterranean Diet Pyramid. In the early 1960s, in the countries neighboring the Mediterranean Sea, cases of chronic conditions were low and life expectancy high. It is a visual guide for the dietary patterns in these countries developed by Oldways in 1993 in partnership with Harvard School of Public Health and the World Health Organization (WHO). If you want to follow the Mediterranean Diet Pyramid, this article explores what you should eat and why.

The pyramid highlight vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans, herbs, cereals and pisces as the foundation of every meal Olive oil is also encouraged as a source of fat, while moderate amounts of eggs, yogurt, fish, red meat, cheese, sweets and low amounts of wine also make the dietary list. Let’s get to the details. 

Understanding the Mediterranean Diet Pyramid

For healthy living, you need to try out the Mediterranean Diet Pyramid and a pattern of regimented diet. It is based on the mid 20th century dietary customs of southern Italy, Crete and Greece. When you think about lunch, have a Mediterranean food delivery to your location for the healthier diet option. In addition to the dietary components, you have to engage in physical exercise and eat meals together to reap the social benefit. It is a plant-based diet meal plan with small quantities of animal proteins, preferably fish and seafood. 

The Mediterranean Diet Pyramid doesn't have specific amounts for your consumption, and you have to decide how much of the diet you eat per meal. Basically, the uniqueness of the Mediterranean Diet Pyramid includes the focus on healthy fats, limiting red meat, emphasizing water as the daily drink and encouraging daily physical exercise. 

What to Eat and Why 

Plant-based Foods

Plant-based mediterranean diet meals inspire you to comply with the nutrition plan. From plant-based diet components, you get healthy fats, fiber and proteins which are vital for a healthy body. The Mediterranean Diet Pyramid is primarily a plant-based diet meal plan, and you should consider food delivery vendors who understand it. 

Whole Grains

By consuming whole grains, you stay healthier and have better levels of blood sugar,  inflammation and cholesterol. Whole grains provide your body with carbohydrates which very healthy. You can eat whole grains in many forms such as in pasta or bread. Whole grain options include oatmeal, farro, buckwheat and quinoa and many more. 

Vegetables and Fruits

You should include leafy greens like spinach and kales in your meals which are a healthy component of the Mediterranean diet pyramid. A high vegetable intake in salads and smoothies on a daily basis gives you vital vitamins A, C and K. Consider eating fresh fruit as a healthier alternative when you have a craving for sweets. Fruits are very nutritious and can be consumed when fresh or dried as snacks or desserts. Fruits and vegetables are good in lowering your risk of heart disease and other conditions such as cancer.

Seeds and Nuts

These will give you vitamins, healthy fats, antioxidants and also traces of minerals for maintaining a healthy weight. You can eat them if you are keen on losing weight. 

Mediterranean nuts such as pine nuts, hazelnuts, almonds, chestnuts, pistachios and walnuts are very nutrient-rich for a healthy heart with healthy fatty acids, fiber, minerals, vitamins, polyphenols and protein. 

Beans and Legumes

Beans and legumes are a staple in the Mediterranean diet . They can help you in controlling blood sugar and improve your weight for lower blood pressure levels. You can eat this by adding protein and fiber to stews and soups. Chickpeas are good in obesity prevention with fiber-rich components. Lentils are good for regulating your blood pressure, making you stay healthy. Fava beans improve the dopamine levels for better brain performance and pleasure in emotional responses and movements. 

Fish and Seafood

You should include safe fish options such as salmon, freshwater tuna, haddock, shrimp and flounder in your diet two or three times a week and you may also try canned fish. Avoid some fish such as swordfish, mackerel and shark which have a significant amount of mercury. As animal protein sources, you should regularly consume fish and other seafood options than red meat. 

Olive Oil

Olive oil and other healthy fat options should be your cooking and salad dressing options. It ts at the center of the Mediterranean Diet Pyramid  and provides you with dietary lipids with igh nutritional value. 

Drink Adequate Water Amounts

If you want to live a fulfilling life, normalize drinking water as your main beverage on a daily basis. It is essential to keep your body hydrated without adding calories. You should replace beverages with added sugars with unsweetened water. Instead of drinking processed juices or soda, consider drinking water.  You should also avoid drinking less amounts or completely forego caffeine drinks such as tea and organic coffee. 

Dairy Products

You should consume low fat yogurt and cheese to improve your bone health. They are vital sources of saturated fat in your diet, such as Greek yogurt. However, you should eat them in low to moderate levels. Eggs also provide high-quality protein especially if you don't like eating meat. You will have a crucial balance in saturated fats and protein by consuming these dairy products.

Drink Red Wine in Small Quantities with Meals

If you are a woman, five ounces of red wine consumed with meals a day is recommended for you. If you are a man, ten ounces of red wine daily is ideal with meals. With good company, a meal with red wine is enjoyable and gives you the social component benefit emphasised in the Mediterrenean diet pyramid. Red wine is not a must and you should avoid it if you are pregnant or have medical conditions which may worsen. 


All your meals should be based on vegetables, fruits, beans or legumes, whole grains and olive oil. Ensure to eat fish or seafood at least two times per week. The Mediterranean Diet Pyramid also emphasizes eating moderate portions of dairy products, egg and cheese, poultry and red wine occasionally. Avoid or reduce the intake of processed foods, saturated fat, red meat and sweets. Following this schedule focussed on Mediterranean foods will reduce your risks for memory problems and chronic conditions such as diabetes, stroke and vascular diseases.

The Mediterranean Diet Pyramid is easy to follow and non-restrictive, while being scientifically supported for better health outcomes. You can try the healthy eating principles of the diet by ordering a Mediterranean diet lunch even on a busy day. What’s more? A healthy aging, healthy weight loss, increased lifespan and prevention of some long-term diseases. The Mediterranean diet meal prep is some plan to go with for a healthy dietary routine. 

Daniel Martin 51
Dan shares his newfound knowledge with other smartphone enthusiasts, Dan also enjoys photography and cooking.
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