Mediterranean foods are perfectly suited to summer dining. Fresh, simple, fruit and vegetable heavy, fresh, unprocessed, flavorful and sure to please the palate.

Eating this way may open you up to a new way  to eating that may change how you fill your plate for all seasons.

This cuisine, and now a diet buzz word, started in the 1960’s inspired by the diets of the poor coastal regions of Spain, Greece, Southern Italy and Crete. In recent years, this manner of eating has gained popularity because eating this way was so much better for you and reduces your fat, sugar and red meat intake considerably. One additional visual benefit is the symphony of color on your plate with all the fruits and vegetables and the pleasant feeling you get after eating a meal that won’t weigh you down like a high fat diet will. Above all, there is something so soul-satisfying and summery about eating this way that makes it perfect in warmer months.

What is a Mediterranean Diet?

This style of eating back in the 1990’s was described by Dr. Walter Willett of Harvard University’s School of Public Health as “emphasizes “abundant plant foods, fresh fruit as the typical daily dessert, olive oil as the principal source of fat, dairy products (principally cheese and yogurt), and fish and poultry consumed in low to moderate amounts, zero to four eggs consumed weekly, red meat consumed in low amounts, and wine consumed in low to moderate amounts”. Total fat in this diet is 25% to 35% of calories, with saturated fat at 8% or less of calories.” Since then there have been a plethora of Mediterranean cookbooks published. One way to get an overview of what foods are eaten in greater quantity, click here for the Mediterranean diet food pyramid, (produced by Oldways, a non-profit dedicated to promote better eating and drinking).

Quintessential Mediterranean Foods/Ingredients

1. Fruits and vegetables
2. Olive oil
3. Fish
4. Dairy and yogurt
5. Nuts and seeds
6. Breads and grains

Add Mediterranean Touches to your Meals

Putting Mediterranean foods in your mouth during summer is a great way to satisfy your hunger and palate and feel good for doing it. Filling your table rich in the staples of the Mediterranean diet with these foods to your table also gives the meal a sense of abundance and can make it more satisfying with the addition of details like breads and olives. These nibbles on the table give the meal that little something extra! There is a great celebration of good food in eating this way you may find hard to give up once the summer is over.

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