If you are looking to eat healthier and still enjoy your food, the heart-healthy Mediterranean diet might be right for you.

Interest in the Mediterranean diet began in the 1960s when people noticed that there were fewer deaths due to heart disease coronary heart disease caused fewer deaths in Mediterranean countries, such as Greece and Italy, than in the U.S. and northern Europe.

The Mediterranean diet is one of the healthy eating plans recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and World Health organization to promote health and prevent chronic disease.

While there is no single definition of the Mediterranean diet, it is typically high in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds, and olive oil. It favors fish, poultry and eggs over red meat and dairy. It is actually my favorite way to eat. Another important element of the mediterranean diet involves sharing meals with family and friends, being physically active, and you will like this...enjoying a glass of red wine.  If you want to try a mediterranean diet, we break it all down for you.

  • 1

    Fruits and Veggies

    Eat more fruits and vegetables. Aim for 7 to 10 servings a day of fruit and vegetables.

  • 2

    Whole Grains

    Opt for whole grains. Switch to whole-grain bread, cereal and pasta. Experiment with other whole grains, such as bulgur and farro.

  • 3

    Healthy Fats

    Use healthy fats. Try olive oil as a replacement for butter when cooking. Instead of putting butter or margarine on bread, try dipping it in flavored olive oil.

  • 4

    Seafood

    Eat more seafood. Eat fish twice a week. Fresh or water-packed tuna, salmon, trout, mackerel and herring are healthy choices. Grilled fish tastes good and requires little cleanup. Avoid deep-fried fish.

  • 5

    Less Red Meat

    Reduce red meat. Substitute fish, poultry or beans for meat. If you eat meat, make sure it's lean and keep portions small.

  • 6

    Healthy Fats

    Healthy fats are a mainstay of the Mediterranean diet. They're eaten instead of less healthy fats, such as saturated and trans fats, which contribute to heart disease.

    Olive oil is the primary source of added fat in the Mediterranean diet. Olive oil provides monounsaturated fat, which has been found to lower total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL or "bad") cholesterol levels. Nuts and seeds also contain monounsaturated fat.