Mediterranean Diet Myths Busted

Related To:

Unlike many fad diets, the Mediterranean Diet just doesn’t seem to go out of style. That’s in part because of a persistent influx of research touting its benefits. To be clear what we’re talking about here, the Mediterranean Diet is a pattern of eating that features a bounty of fruits, vegetables, olive oil, nuts and whole grains; a moderate amount of fish and poultry and wine with meals; and minimal amounts of dairy, sweets and red or processed meats. Find out more about what the Mediterranean Diet is and isn’t with these myths:

Myth #1: It’s expensive.

As a plant-based eating pattern, the Mediterranean Diet can be actually less expensive than meat-heavy eating plans. This idea was asserted by a study published in the Journal of Hunger & Environmental Nutrition, in which low-income participants were taught to cook meals with olive oil, but without meat, poultry or fish. They ended up reducing their grocery bills. Try it yourself by planning more meals featuring beans or lentils as the main protein.

Myth #2: If one glass of wine a day is good, more must be better.

A friend once asked me, “red wine is good for you, so a lot of wine must be really good for you, right?” Unfortunately, no. While moderate amounts of red wine (one drink a day for women; two for men) can be heart-healthy, more than that has the opposite effect. And any amounts of alcohol can increase the risk of certain cancers — meaning, if you’re not a drinker, there’s no reason to start. In fact, a study in the journal Circulation Research found that non-alcoholic red wine lowered blood pressure better than the regular red wine.

Myth #3: It’s only about the food.

While the food is a huge part of the diet, don’t overlook the lifestyle component of the Mediterranean Diet. How you eat — sitting down for a relaxed, leisurely meal with others — may be just as important for your health as what’s on your plate.

Myth #4: This is the only way you should eat.

There’s no one “right” way for anyone to eat. Although the Mediterranean Diet seems to be a healthy way of eating, do what feels right for your body. Other cultures also have cuisines that have been touted for their health benefits, such as Japanese, Vietnamese and Indian.

Recipes to Try:
Mediterranean Farro Salad (pictured above)

Next Up

Cookbook Giveaway: Cook Yourself Sexy

Enter to win former model Candice Kumai's new cookbook, Cook Yourself Sexy, full of healthy, satisfying recipes and advice on how to maintain your sexiest self.

Healthy Eats at Luxury Hotels

Get six picks for hotels offering separate menus for vegetarian and vegan diners, and shifting their focus from heavy, lavish fare to sustainable, organic and local ingredients.

3 Recipes for Farro Salads

There's nothing quite as simple and substantial as adding nutrient-rich farro to roasted vegetables or vinaigrette-tossed salads.

Un-Ode to Eggs, Cholesterol and All

Get Cooking Channel's best egg recipes, and find out how eggs can be a part of a healthy diet.

Try Meatless Monday with Kelsey's Garden Vegetable Frittata

We're celebrating Meatless Monday, a movement designed to eat less meat for health and environmental reasons. This week: Kelsey Nixon's Garden Vegetable Frittata.

Cookbook Giveaway: Simple Asian Meals

Try a few recipes from the new cookbook, Simple Asian Meals: Irresistibly Satisfying and Healthy Dishes for the Busy Cook.

Meatless Monday: Wheat Berry Salad

Wheat berries are an unprocessed whole grain, use them on this Meatless Monday to make Ellie Krieger's healthy, hearty salad.

Vegetarian Cookbook Giveaway: "Cook Without a Book"

In Pam Anderson's new cookbook, Cook Without a Book: Meatless Meals, she shares simple formulas that really will get you cooking great vegetarian food without a cookbook.

Light and Sweet: Pavlova for Dessert

Get Cooking Channel's pavlova recipe, a great dessert when you want something sweet and light.

On TV

So Much Pretty Food Here