Mediterranean Diet Overview
The Mediterranean diet is based on the cuisine and ingredients common in the Mediterranean region of the world, which stretches from Crete and Greece to southern Italy and Morocco. The key components of the diet are fresh fruits and vegetables, olive oil, grilled fish and seafood, and red wine.
The Mediterranean diet has an important social component. Ideally, meals should be prepared and consumed in the company of friends - a tactic that encourages conversation, and therefore the slower consumption of food, which reduces calorie intake.
Make sure to supplement the Mediterranean diet with exercise.
When invented: The idea of a Mediterranean diet debuted in 1945, first thought up by a Minnesota-native doctor named Ancel Keys. It gained further recognition in 1980, when the publication of a two decade-long study called the Seven Countries study concluded that saturated fats were the main cause of heart attacks.
Who invented it: Ancel Keys, an American physiologist, initially proposed that saturated fat was a major cause of heart disease. He also promoted the considerable advantages of a diet based on Mediterranean ingredients. Keys lived to be 100 years old.
Length of diet plan: The Mediterranean diet is meant to become the basis for a permanent change in eating habits.
Former swimsuit model Brooke Burke follows a Mediterranean diet, eating five small meals a day. Salmon is one of her favorite foods.
Celebrity chef and Food Network star Rachael Ray is also a proponent of the plan. She considers it a way of life and not a strict diet, and has stuck with it since growing up.
Portia de Rossi and Penelope Cruz are also said to be fans of the Mediterranean diet.