Barley Salad

 

The Mediterranean Diet had been ranked the Best Overall Diet by US News & World Report for five years running. In 2022, it was also ranked #1 Best Plant-Based Diet, Best Heart-Healthy Diet, Best Diabetes Diet, Best Diet for Healthy Eating, and Easiest Diet to Follow. Known for its flavorful, satisfying dishes, the Mediterranean Diet comes highly recommended by health professionals and nutrition scientists because of the well-documented health benefits associated with it. And with its emphasis on plant-based ingredients, it’s no surprise that the Mediterranean Diet celebrates whole grains in a big way. Barley, buckwheat, bulgur, farro, freekeh, millet, oats, brown rice, rye, and spelt form the foundation of Mediterranean whole grain eating, with breads, pasta, polenta, and porridges all making regular appearances. 

This week marks the start of our annual Oldways Mediterranean Diet Challenge and we invite you to join us as we embark together on a month of Mediterranean-style eating. 

So What Is the Mediterranean Diet?

The Mediterranean Diet reflects a way of eating that is traditional in the countries that surround the Mediterranean Sea, including Italy, Greece, Spain, Turkey, Israel, and Egypt. Whole grains and other plant-based foods are at its foundation, making up the largest, bottom section of the Mediterranean Diet pyramid. Fish and seafood are consumed a few times a week and small portions of meat, dairy, and cheese are used for extra flavoring or as a garnish on a dish daily to weekly.

And it goes beyond food – after all, there’s more to being healthy and happy than just eating great food. Shifting toward a vibrant Mediterranean lifestyle means getting outside, being more active, and sharing the pleasure of delicious eating with family and friends.

a picture of the Mediterranean Diet Pyramid

What Are the Health Benefits of the Mediterranean Diet?

Decades of scientific research indicate that the Mediterranean Diet offers a wide spectrum of health benefits to those who embrace this pattern of eating. In fact, evidence shows that the Mediterranean Diet can help you:

  • Lower your risk of heart disease
  • Lower your risk of high blood pressure
  • Lower your risk of type 2 diabetes
  • Fight certain cancers and chronic diseases
  • Achieve weight loss and weight management goals
  • Resist depression
  • Reduce asthma
  • Ward off Parkinson’s Disease

Whole Grains, Mediterranean-Style

The Mediterranean Diet is packed with delicious whole grain options, from bulgur and barley, to farro and freekeh. It’s very easy to incorporate the delicious flavor and unmatched texture of whole grains into every meal you eat. Here are a few of our favorite ways to eat whole grains with a Mediterranean flair:

Edamame Sweat Pea Egg Breakfast Tortillas

Breakfast:

bowl of bulgur pilaf

Lunch:

Farro-CousCous-with-Brussel-Sprouts.jpg

Dinner:

 

If you’re looking to immerse yourself in the Mediterranean Diet Challenge, check out our Make Every Day Mediterranean menu-plan book and join the Oldways’ Mediterranean Diet Facebook group to connect with others in the community and gain additional support. (Caroline)


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