The Mediterranean Diet is being haled as THE diet for optimal health. It is said to promote heart health, weight loss and good blood sugar control. It seems to make a lot of sense.

It is a good balanced diet that includes all of the major food groups, with the emphasis being placed on the best foods in each group.

Basic Principles of the Mediterranean Diet

  1. Use olive oil as the main added fat.
  2. Eat vegetables with every meal.
  3. Eat 2 legume-based (eg beans, lentils, chickpeas) meals per week.
  4. Eat at least 2 fish meals per week. Include plenty of dark oily fish such as fresh tuna, salmon and mackerel. Also include tinned sardines and pilchards.
  5. Eat only small portions of beef, lamb, pork or chicken, no more than 2 to 3 times per week.
  6. Eat fresh fruit everyday and dried fruit and nuts as snacks or desserts.
  7. Eat yoghurt everyday (200g) and cheese in moderation (30 to 40g).
  8. Include whole grain breads and cereals with meals (up to 4 portions per day).
  9. Consume wine in moderation (one standard drink (100ml) per day), always with meals, don’t get drunk. Try to have a couple of alcohol-free days per week.
  10. Have sweets and sweet drinks for special occasions only.


Wendy Lord RD(SA)