- Food and diet
- Eating a balanced diet
- 8 tips for healthy eating
- The Eatwell Guide
- Food labels
- Food labelling terms
- Reference intakes on food labels
- Starchy foods and carbohydrates
- Dairy and alternatives
- Meat in your diet
- Fish and shellfish
- The healthy way to eat eggs
- Beans and pulses
- Water, drinks and your health
- Eating processed foods
- Why 5 A Day?
- What counts?
- 5 A Day portion sizes
- 5 A Day tips
- 5 A Day FAQs
- Fat: the facts
- Salt: the facts
- Sugar: the facts
- Top sources of added sugar
- What does 100 calories look like?
- Red meat and the risk of bowel cancer
- What is a Mediterranean diet?
- 20 tips to eat well for less
- How to prepare and cook food safely
- How to store food and leftovers
- 10 ways to prevent food poisoning
- Why you should never wash raw chicken
- Cooking turkey
- How to wash fruit and vegetables
- The truth about sweeteners
- Sprouted seeds safety advice
- The vegetarian diet
- The vegan diet
- Vegetarian and vegan mums-to-be
- Vegetarian and vegan diets Q&A
- Recipes and tips
- Healthy breakfasts
- Surprising 100-calorie snacks
- 8 healthy eating tips
- How to eat more fibre
- Healthy food swaps
- Healthy breakfast cereals
- How to eat less saturated fat
- Tips for a lower salt diet
- How to cut down on sugar
- Healthier takeaways
- Food and drinks for sport
- Healthy eating for teens
- Digestive health
What is a Mediterranean diet?
A Mediterranean diet incorporates the traditional healthy living habits of people from countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea, including France, Greece, Italy and Spain.
The Mediterranean diet varies by country and region, so it has a range of definitions. But in general, it's high in vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, beans, cereals, grains, fish, and unsaturated fats such as olive oil. It usually includes a low intake of meat and dairy foods.
The Mediterranean diet has been linked with good health, including a healthier heart.
How to make your diet more Mediterranean
You can make your diet more Mediterranean-style by:
- eating plenty of starchy foods, such as bread and pasta
- eating plenty of fruit and vegetables
- including fish in your diet
- eating less meat
- choosing products made from vegetable and plant oils, such as olive oil
The Eatwell Guide
The Mediterranean diet is very similar to the government's healthy eating advice, which is set out in the Eatwell Guide.
The guide shows what foods are needed for a healthy, balanced diet and how much you should eat of each food group:
- eat at least 5 portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day – find out more about getting your 5 A Day
- base your meals on starchy foods such as potatoes, bread, rice and pasta – choose wholegrain versions where possible
- eat some beans or pulses, fish, eggs, meat and other proteins (including 2 portions of fish every week, 1 of which should be oily)
- have some dairy or dairy alternatives (such as soya drinks) – choose lower-fat and lower-sugar options
- choose unsaturated oils and spreads, and eat them in small amounts
- drink 6 to 8 glasses of fluid a day
- if consuming foods and drinks that are high in fat, salt or sugar, have them less often and in small amounts – find out more about reducing sugar in your diet
You don't need to achieve this balance with every meal, but try to get it right over the course of a day or even a week.