By John Fenster
The Mediterranean diet follows the typical cuisine of Mediterranean countries.
Many people are switching to the diet for its health benefits, even if they don't live in Italy, Spain, or France.
The USDA's MyPlate and Oldways' Mediterranean Diet Pyramid provide a broad guide for food groups to include at every meal.
Use this basic fraction rule when in doubt: Make half your plate fruits and veggies, 25% whole grains, and 25% nutritious protein.
In the Mediterranean diet, highly processed foods are avoided. Check the ingredients if packaged.
As much as possible, choose whole foods like nuts, legumes, and whole grains like oats and bulgur. Fresh produce, fish, and healthy oils like olive oil are whole foods.
Your diet should include mostly fruits and vegetables.
Though the Mediterranean diet recommends 7 to 10 servings of fruits and vegetables daily, even 3 to 5 servings lower cardiovascular disease risk.