The Mediterranean Diet is a way of eating based on the traditional foods (and drinks) of the countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea. According to the Mediterranean Foods Alliance, the Mediterranean Diet is not a diet, as in “go on a diet,” even though it may be a great way to lose weight or improve your health. Rather, it is a lifestyle – including foods, activities, meals with friends and family, and wine in moderation with meals. Staples of the Mediterranean Diet include fruits, vegetables, beans and legumes; an abundance of bread, pasta, rice, couscous and other grain foods, especially whole grains; nuts and peanuts; extra virgin olive oil; fish, poultry and lean red meat; cheese and yogurt; and moderate amounts of wine.
As a nutrient-dense fruit providing “good” polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat, California Avocados are a natural fit with the Mediterranean Diet and are included in the Mediterranean Foods Alliance Med Mark program, an educational program created to help individuals discover Mediterranean style-food and flavors including:
- Fresh fruits: California Avocados are a nutrient-dense fruit that help add variety to fruit intake - a trademark of the Mediterranean Diet – and can easily be incorporated into any meal of the day.
- Good Fats: California Avocados can help improve “good fat” intake, emphasized in the Mediterranean Diet. Seventy-five percent of the fat in a California Avocado is unsaturated fat (3.5 grams per 1 ounce serving), making it a great substitute for foods high in saturated fat. Consuming less than 10 percent of calories from saturated fat and replacing them with monounsaturated and/or polyunsaturated fatty acids is associated with low blood cholesterol levels and therefore a lower risk of cardiovascular disease.