Help the development of the site, sharing the article with friends!

See the gallery of 11 photos

The Mediterranean diet has been cultivated by Greeks, Italians and Spaniards for years. However, its principles became widely known only recently, when scientific research confirmed that the Mediterranean diet has he alth effects and also supports weight loss. Check which products are indicated in the Mediterranean diet, what is their effect on he alth and how to start eating in a Mediterranean style in Polish conditions.

BMI Calculator

womanmankidincorrect dataMandatory fieldMandatory fieldChild's BMIWe use BMI standards for adults.
To check the correct weight (as well as height and head circumference) of children up to 18 years of age, percentile grids are used to determine whether the child grows proportionally to age.Check the percentile grids

Mediterranean diet - pyramid

In 1993, a food pyramid for the Mediterranean diet was developed in collaboration with the WHO and the Harvard School of Public He alth. It outlines the lifestyle assumptions and recommended products. Physical activity and positive social relationships are at the heart of the Mediterranean diet.

Nutrition is based on vegetables, whole grains, legumes, fruits, herbs, nuts and he althy fats - mostly olive oil. The main source of protein is fish and seafood, poultry, cheese, yoghurt and eggs are eaten less often.

Red meat and sweets appear on the menu occasionally. Water and wine in moderate amounts are chosen for drinking.

Listen to "How to fight obesity" on Spreaker.

Mediterranean diet - recommended and contraindicated products

Recommended amounts of products for the Mediterranean diet

Food productsRecommended AmountsTips
Vegetables4 or more servings daily including at least one rawServing is 1 cup raw or 1/2 cup cooked vegetables. Choose vegetables in different colors.
Fruits3 or more servings per dayEat fruit for dessert
Grain products4 or more servings per day1 serving is a slice of bread or 1/2 cup of cooked porridge / pasta
FatAt least 4 tablespoons of olive oil per dayChoose extra virgin olive oil raw and for cooking - refined olive oil. Use avocado and nut butters (not peanuts)
Legume seeds3 or more servings per week1 serving is 1/2 cup of legumes
Nuts, seeds3 or more servings per week1 serving is 3 tablespoons of nuts
Fish and seafood2-3 times a weekChoose tuna, sardines and salmon as they are rich in valuable omega-3 fatty acids
Herbs and spicesDailyLimit s alt
Yoghurt, cheese, eggs, poultryDon't eat every dayChoose high-quality dairy, eggs and poultry from local suppliers
WineMen: 1-2 lamps a day Women: 1 lamp a day

Mediterranean diet - he alth effects

The Mediterranean diet is one of the he althiest ways to eat. A great deal of scientific research has been carried out over the last 30 years, documenting its positive effect on he alth and its high potential in disease prevention.

  • He althy Eating - Top 10 Rules

Experts agree that anti-inflammatory foods are responsible for the he alth-promoting effect of the diet: vegetables and sources of he althy fats (fish, olive oil, nuts).

Quoting Harvard School of Public He alth specialists: "Combined with regular physical activity and not smoking, the analyzes suggest that over 80% of heart disease, 70% of heart attacks and 90% of type 2 diabetes are preventable, making he althy food choices that fit in with the principles of the Mediterranean diet. "

Mediterranean diet and slimming

The Mediterranean diet is not a typical slimming diet. Of course, it can be adapted to reducing diets, limiting the caloric content, but the basis of the Mediterranean diet as a lifestyle is good relationship with food and nourishment to satisfy hunger (but also no more, without overeating!).

Ranked by U.S. News & World Report, it ranks 14th among weight loss diets and 28th among fast weight loss diets. When eating in the Mediterranean way, you should also not be afraid of gaining weight despite the presence of fat in your diet.

It is now widely known that the most overweight is consuming sugar, not fat - even more soits he althy sources. Several studies have shown that you can lose weight he althily by following the Mediterranean diet.

  • How to lose weight he althily? 10 rules for he althy and safe weight loss

However, the scientific position on the matter, supported by an analysis of 21 studies on weight loss with the Mediterranean diet, says that experts still do not know whether this diet is a slimming diet and whether it protects against overweight and obesity.

In 2008, the New England Journal of Medicine published the results of a study involving 322 moderately obese adults.

They have been divided into 3 groups following different diets: low-fat with limited calories, Mediterranean with limited calories, and low-carbohydrate with no calorie restrictions.

After two years, the average weight loss for the Mediterranean diet was 4.4 kg, for the low-fat diet was 2.9 kg, and for the low-carbohydrate diet was 4.6 kg.

Mediterranean diet, atherosclerosis and cholesterol

It has been shown many times that the use of the Mediterranean diet reduces the risk of heart disease, lowers blood pressure and the level of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), i.e. "Bad cholesterol." This action is largely due to the omega-3 fatty acids present in oily sea fish and the ALA fatty acid from olive oil.

In addition, olive oil increases the bioavailability of nitric oxide, which is very important for the condition of the circulatory system. It dilates blood vessels, improves the functioning of the endothelium and fights the negative effects of oxidation processes.

In 2022, a study lasting over 4 years was completed, which included nearly 19,000 Italians. Its results are presented in the "International Journal of Epidemiology". It showed that the more closely the Mediterranean diet is followed, the lower the risk of cardiovascular disease is.

At the same time, it turned out that the diet of people with a higher financial status brings the greatest benefits, which means that the price of food, and therefore its quality, is of great importance in disease prevention.

In 2016, the European Heart Journal published the results of an analysis of the eating habits of 15,000 adults from 39 countries suffering from an increased risk of heart disease. The risk of heart attack, stroke and death has been shown to decrease with consistency in adherence to the Mediterranean diet.

A 2015 study of 150 adults found that vegans, vegetarians, and Mediterranean-style eaters had more SFA levels thatpositively correlates with lowering the risk of heart disease.

Other epidemiological studies have found that people who follow the Mediterranean diet have a 30% risk of death from heart disease and 45% less risk of sudden death from a cardiac incident.

We recommend

Author: Time S.A

• Diets available without leaving home • Shopping lists adapted to the type of diet • Database of over 2000 meals • Necessary information about ingredients • Care of nutrition specialists • Possibility to integrate the diet with training plan

Find out more

Mediterranean diet and diabetes

The Mediterranean diet reduces the risk of developing metabolic syndrome - one of the risk factors for diabetes.

An analysis of 9 studies, including 122,000 adults, found that following the Mediterranean diet reduced the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 19%.

  • Diabetes diet in accordance with the principles of he althy eating

Another 2014 study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine looked at 3,500 seniors who had not yet developed type 2 diabetes. After 4 years, it was found that people on a low-fat diet were at greater risk of diabetes than those in the Mediterranean diet.

One analysis of 9 studies, involving a total of nearly 1,200 people with type 2 diabetes who followed different diets, found that people on a Mediterranean diet improved glycemic control, lowered weight, cholesterol, and blood pressure.

Mediterranean diet and cancer

It is currently believed that following the Mediterranean diet can prevent colon cancer in 25% of cases, breast cancer in 15-20%, prostate cancer, endometrium and pancreas in 10-15%.

A Greek EPIC analysis of 22,000 adults showed a 24% decrease in cancer mortality over 4 years of using the Mediterranean diet.

  • Diet and cancer. What to eat to avoid cancer?

A 5-year follow-up by the National Institute of He alth of 350,000 Americans showed a 17% drop in cancer mortality in men and 12% in women if some Mediterranean diet recommendations are followed.

Based on an analysis of the global EPIC population, it is concluded that adherence to only 2 of the basic dietary recommendations reduces the risk of developing cancer and / or dying from cancer by 6%.

Mediterranean diet and dementia

The Mediterranean diet prevents neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.Dietary ingredients protect the brain against aging and support the functioning of the nervous system.

A four-year study involving a group of approximately 2,300 people found that following the Mediterranean diet reduced the risk of Alzheimer's disease by 10%.

A 16-year follow-up study of 130,000 Americans found that those who most followed the Mediterranean diet had a 25% lower risk of developing Parkinson's than those who did not follow the diet.

Worth knowing

How to start a Mediterranean-style diet in Polish conditions?

1. Eat a lot of vegetables - raw, in the form of salads, baked, grilled, in the form of soups. In winter, use root vegetables and frozen food. 2. Change the way you think about meat - eat smaller portions, replace with fish. 3. Enjoy high-quality dairy products from small dairies up to every other day 4. Eat fish and seafood at least twice a week. Use fish readily available in Poland, e.g. herring. 5. Cook one vegetarian lunch a week, e.g. with broad beans, green beans, lentils. 6. Use he althy fat sources - olive oil, nuts, avocados, olives. 7. Use groats and rice instead of potatoes. 8. For dessert, eat fresh fruit instead of sweets. 9. In winter, use warming spices, cook soups, bake vegetables. The Mediterranean diet is not only raw food.

Mediterranean diet - sample menu

The following menu in the Mediterranean diet is very varied, contains many different dishes, and therefore requires a lot of shopping and cooking. However, you should not use it literally, but rather get inspired by the suggestions of various dishes and adjust it to your abilities.

The Mediterranean diet is also a pleasure to cook. Anyone who wants to use this model of nutrition should only spend as much time in the kitchen as they really like. Remember that you can eat the same lunches for 2 days, and prepare spreads for more than one serving. This definitely helps to organize a he althy diet.

Day I

  • Breakfast

Bread with a paste of: avocado, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, a few dried tomatoes, garlic

  • Second breakfast

2-3 peaches, a handful of almonds

  • Lunch

Spaghetti pasta with olive oil with cherry tomatoes, small broccoli florets and tuna steak

  • Afternoon tea

Vegetables, e.g. carrots, cucumbers, peppers dipped in hummus

  • Dinner

Young seasonal vegetables soup, breadwhole grains

Day II

  • Breakfast

Herrings in oil with onion, whole wheat bread

  • Second breakfast

Boiled broad beans with butter and a pinch of s alt

  • Lunch

Millet salad with tomato, cucumber, spring onion, olives, chopped fresh mint and parsley, with a sauce of olive oil, lemon juice, grated lemon peel, s alt, pepper

  • Afternoon tea

Banana and strawberry smoothie

  • Dinner

Zucchini pancakes (prepared similarly to potato pancakes) sprinkled with feta cheese


  • Breakfast

Porridge boiled in water with raspberries and any nuts

  • Second breakfast

One-day vegetable juice, whole grain roll with cheese and vegetables

  • Lunch

Roasted chicken drumsticks with roasted vegetables: zucchini, pepper, carrot, pumpkin or other depending on the season, pearl barley

  • Afternoon tea

Piece of homemade fruit cake

  • Dinner

Salad with lettuce, rocket, tomato, pepper, smoked salmon, olive oil and roasted pumpkin seeds

About the authorAleksandra Żyłowska-Mharrab, dietician Food technologist, dietitian, educator. A graduate of Biotechnology at the Gdańsk University of Technology and Nutritional Services at the Maritime University. A supporter of simple, he althy cuisine and conscious choices in everyday nutrition. My main interests include building permanent changes in eating habits and individually composing a diet according to the body's needs. Because the same thing is not he althy for everyone! I believe that nutritional education is very important, both for children and adults. I focus my activities on spreading knowledge about nutrition, analyze new research results, and make my own conclusions. I adhere to the principle that a diet is a lifestyle, not strict adherence to meals on a sheet of paper. There is always room for delicious pleasures in he althy and conscious eating.

Read more articles by this author

Help the development of the site, sharing the article with friends!