Many persons ask me about the Mediterranean diet when they have high blood pressure or cholesterol. I used to tell them that Mediterranean diet is more than a diet and it is a lifelong living style. If we understand this it is easy to plan to have a good health. The modern Mediterranean diet recommendation is from the traditional dietary habits of poor coastal regions of Crete, Greece, southern Italy and Spain around the Mediterranean Basin. The basis for this lifestyle was high physical activity, typical Mediterranean foods, stress-free life and low income. Things are changed now in these areas and people eat differently too. But many are still keeping or returning to this healthy diet.

The benefits of Mediterranean diet include:

• Low risk of heart disease
• Reduced cancer risk
• Low risk of Parkinson’s disease
• Low risk of Alzheimer’s disease
• Better health in all respects

This means we need not wait till we get our health problems. Everybody, including healthy persons, must follow this to have a healthy life even in their old age.

The important recommendations of the Mediterranean diet include:

• Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, beans, nuts, seeds, herbs, spices and olive oil are the foods for daily use
• Fish and seafood can be eaten daily, but they must be eaten at least twice in a week
• Cheese, yogurt, eggs and poultry can be eaten daily or few times a week
• Meats are eaten occasionally
• Sweets are eaten occasionally

Mediterranean diet gives you all the nutrients what your body needs. It is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids and omega-3 fatty acids, good proteins, carbohydrates, fibers, vitamins, minerals and other important phytochemicals.

Red wine in small quantities is also allowed. Alcohol in small quantities is healthy, but more alcohol is dangerous and can lead to serious health problems and addiction. A glass of red wine is allowed during meals. It is not a must and so if you do not drink alcohol you need not start to drink. If you are a dry alcoholic never touch red wine.

Exercises are very important daily. Select your exercises according to your wish and time. This is a good way to be healthy and health is our big wealth.