How to Use Mediterranean Diet to Improve Your Health


According to Leslie Cho, MD, Director of the Cleveland Clinic’s Women’s Cardiovascular Center.  Mediterranean diet is one of the best choose to prevent heart disease during those various diets.

The Mediterranean diet is centered around plant-based foods — heavy on vegetables, fruits, legumes, fish, olive oil and some amount of nuts. This diet may promote weight loss, brain and heart health, diabetes prevention and cancer prevention. You will avoid several chronic diseases with the help of this diet, but how much of these should we be eating? Listed below are some tips about how to follow the Mediterranean diet:

— Vegetables: 3 servings a day (1 serving = 1/2 cooked or 1 cup of raw vegetables)

— Fruits: 3 servings a day (1 serving= 1/2 to 1 cup)

— Olive oil: 1 tablespoon a day, but no more than 4 tablespoons a day. This includes your cooking oil.

— Legumes: 3 servings a week (beans, peas, alfalfa, peanuts,etc.)

— Fish: 3 servings a week. The smellier the fish are, the better, because they contain higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids. Smart choices include salmon, tuna, herring, sardines, mackerel and anchovies.

— Nuts: 3 servings a week (1 serving = 1/4 cup, 1 oz. or 2 tablespoons of nut butter). Ideally, go for raw, unsalted and dry roasted walnuts, almonds or hazelnuts.

— Starches: 3 to 6 servings a day (1 serving = 1/2 cooked, 1 slice of bread or 1 ounce of dry cereal). Choose whole grains, oats, barley, brown rice, quinoa and red skin or sweet potatoes.

— White meat: 3 servings a week (1 serving = 3 oz.) Choose skinless poultry. Poultry includes choices such as chicken, turkey, pheasants and ostrich instead of red meat. You should have no more than 1 serving (3 oz.) of red meat a week. Choose lean cuts such as sirloin, tenderloin or flank steak if you have to have red meat.

— Dairy/eggs: 3 servings a week. Choose 1 percent or fat-free milk, yogurt or cottage cheese. There are no limits on egg whites.

— Desserts: 1 serving a week (1 serving =3 oz.) If possible, let fruit be your dessert. If you have to eat baked goods, choose one with healthy ingredients, and eat smaller portions.

— Wine: 4-6 oz. a day. No beer or hard liquor; drinking wine is optional. Don’t start drinking if you’ve never drank before. There is no good data that taking up alcohol will prevent heart disease

And what exactly should you be eating for your meals? These delicious Mediterranean diet recipes will give you some ideas:

Mediterranean Pasta Salad


  • 8 ounces multigrain farfalle
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 13.5- ounce can artichoke hearts packed in water, drained and chopped
  • 8 ounces fresh part-skim mozzarella cheese, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped bottled roasted red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas


Cook pasta according to package instructions, omitting salt and fat. At the same time, combine zest and juice of 1 lemon and 2 teaspoons olive oil in a large bowl; stir well with a whisk. Add artichoke hearts, cheese, bell pepper, and parsley; toss to combine.

Place peas in a colander; when pasta is cooked, drain pasta over peas. Shake well to drain, but do not run under cold water.

Add pasta and peas to artichoke mixture, and toss well until thoroughly combined. Serve warm or at room temperature.

(this recipe is from here)

Mediterranean Detox Salad


  • 1  (8-ounce) English cucumber
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 6 cups trimmed watercress
  • 1  (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
  • 2  large celery stalks, sliced
  • 1/2 cup sliced red onion
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese


Cut cucumber in half, and slice crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Process 3/4 cup cucumber and lemon juice in blender. Add olive oil in a thin stream; pulse until combined.

Season the dressing with black pepper, to taste; transfer to a large bowl.

Add remaining 1 cup cucumber, watercress, artichoke hearts, celery, red onion, and feta cheese to a bowl.

Toss with the dressing, and divide among 4 bowls; serve.

(this recipe is from here)

Additional resources:

Beverly Entin