Western v Mediterranean Diets

Go East Young Man … all the way to the Mediterranean

The U.S. Government Released New DIETARY GUIDELINES

There’s a science, a well-established Food-Science, behind the recommendations on what to eat … more of, less of, and what to avoid.  Although it seems like these recommendations are always changing, the reality is that they have at their foundation, a well-established and sustained message.  Diets high in red meat, alcohol, fat and sugar are not as good for your body as diets high in whole grains, veggies, natural sugar, fish and ‘good’ oils.  Here’s a humorous, but meaningful, comparison between two diet styles.  And here’s a hint … the Mediterranean Diet is the better choice.



“Western” Diet

gondollerHat“Mediterranean” Diet
Water Drink up!  8+ glasses per day Drink up!  8+ glasses per day
Vegetables They make a nice garnish Eat up!  The mainstay of every meal
Grains White rice, instant cereal, bread and donuts will do Whole grain with each meal
Nuts & Legumes I get my exercise shelln’ peanuts Fill up on beans, nuts & seeds
Sugar It’s in my soda, ketchup, cereal, fast food and processed food Naturally speaking … honey will do
Sodium (salt) The only ingredient more prevalent than sugar! ‘No’ on the snack foods; add salt at the end of cooking
Oil Ummmm, deep fried love! Olive oil (and what’s naturally in fish)
Fish On Fridays, battered and fried! Anytime it’s fresh – at least twice a week!
Red meat Chow down!  Now it’s dinner time Twice a month, maybe
Preserved smoked meat Cold cuts, sausage, salami … staples around my house Small quantities only
Dessert What’s a meal without something sweet? Figs, pomegranate, grapes and a little cheese
Alcohol 2 drinks or 1 drink max. per day, for men and women respectively A small amount (3oz) with dinner*



Although we’re poking fun at our Western Diet, there is truth in our humor.  We are serious about recommending a Mediterranean Diet.  There are substantial health benefits for those who eat this style of diet.

* The rates of alcohol abuse among people of Mediterranean cultures where it is commonplace for people to have 1-2 small glasses (equivalent to 1 typical glass of wine for Americans) of wine with their dinner, is lower than in U.S.