In her book “The New Mediterranean Diet Cookbook,” Nancy Harmon Jenkins tells us that the Mediterranean diet is a result of history and a “deep-seated and largely unspoken consensus that eating is one of the most important things we humans do in our lives.” Interest in the diet began back in the 1950s. According to the Mayo Clinic, researchers at the time discovered that heart disease and stroke rates were far less common in Mediterranean countries than in the U.S. Subsequent studies have confirmed their findings.
Since this diet is rooted in the food cultures of the Mediterranean, the main source of fat is olive oil. Add to that regular consumption of nuts, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and seafood, a moderate consumption of poultry, eggs, and dairy, the rare consumption of red meat and sugars, and you have the basics of the Mediterranean diet (via Healthline).
The idea behind the Mediterranean diet has less to do with restriction and more to do with balance and cultivating a long-term approach to health eating. Moderation is key. It’s okay to have sweets or a good steak every once and a while. Eating Well lists some easy ways you can add elements of the Mediterranean diet in your everyday life such as using olive oil when cooking, snacking on nuts, eating more fish, and having (a little) wine.