How to eat and live like you’re a citizen of the Mediterranean? Eat at least two servings of veggies at main meals, and one two servings of olive oil. Plus, share meals with family and friends. So says a newly revamped version of the Mediterranean diet pyramid out of Spain.
The Mediterranean Diet Foundation’s revised pyramid spells out the servings you should eat on a daily or weekly basis of various foods. For example, you should eat one to two servings of fruit at every main meal as well as one to two servings of bread, rice and other cereals that are “preferably” whole grain, according to the Barcelona-based nonprofit. A serving size is based on “frugality and local habits.”
In a statement, the group says the revamped pyramid better reflects the “balanced lifestyle” of the Mediterranean people. The pyramid continues to promote grains, olive oil, fruits, vegetables and seafood. And, as before, you should eat red meat and sweets sparingly.
The Mediterranean Diet Foundation is the latest group to overhaul its version of the Mediterranean diet pyramid. The most well known pyramid is touted by our friends at the Boston food think tank Oldways, which updated their pyramid a couple years ago.
As with other food pyramids, being at the bottom of the heap is a good thing. The lower section of the Mediterranean Diet Foundation pyramid depicts “foods that should sustain the diet,” like veggies, olive oil and fruit. The upper section of the pyramid details foods that should be consumed “in moderate amounts.”
You should eat no more than one serving of red meat a week, for example. White meat can equal two weekly servings. Fish and seafood, however, can be consumed more frequently: twice or more a week. Wine is recommended in “moderation.” (Click here to see our October In Season eNewsletter showcasing Mediterranean cuisine and recipes.)
To better illustrate the Mediterranean lifestyle as a whole, “regular” physical activity and “adequate” sleep are highlighted in the revamped pyramid, along with the practice of sharing meals with family and friends.
“It is not just about prioritizing some food groups from others, but also paying attention to the way of selecting, cooking and eating,” the Mediterranean Diet Foundation says.
The organization adds that it collaborated with nutritionists, anthropologists, sociologist and agricultural experts to develop the “new richer design.”
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