HF 410

The Mediterranean Lifestyle

Why a Mediterranean lifestyle?

  • This lifestyle lowers the risk of heart disease.

  • It is not a restrictive diet, but involves heart healthy foods and lifestyle habits.

  • Encourages you to enjoy homemade, seasonal meals with family and friends.

Components of a Mediterranean Lifestyle

  • Fruits and vegetables at every meal

  • Whole grains with fiber

  • Nuts, beans, and/or lentils daily

  • Olive oil (a heart healthy source of fat)

  • Fish, shellfish, poultry, and eggs are main sources of protein

  • Cheese, plain yogurt, and other low- fat dairy

  • Fresh herbs and spices for seasoning

  • Daily exercise

  • Drink enough water daily (8+ cups or 64+ ounces)

  • Optional alcohol in moderation (2servings per day for men; 1 serving per day for women)

  • Spending mealtime with family and friends

Mediterranean Eating Pattern

Every meal

  • Fruits

  • Vegetables

  • Whole grains

  • Olive oil (healthy fat)


  • Nuts and Seeds

  • Beans and legumes

  • Dairy products

  • Herbs and spices


  • Fish

  • Poultry

  • Eggs


  • Sweets

  • Red meat

  • Processed meat

Note: Traditional and cultural foods are an important part of a healthy lifestyle.

Physical Activity

Try to get 30 minutes of physical activity a day, 5 days a week. This can be done in short bursts throughout the day or all at once. Any movement is better than none!


  • Playing tag with children

  • Dancing

  • Walking with friends

  • Swimming

  • Chair exercises

  • Lifting

  • Free exercise videos

  • Yoga

  • Hiking with your dog

  • Tai Chi

  • Water aerobics

  • Skating

  • Hand cycling

  • Rowing