A well-respected group of top nutrition experts, including a group in the Department
of Nutrition at my old school, the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health,
including Stampfer, Willett, Hu, and Mozaffarian (now at Tufts), as well as authoritative
studies by the FAO and 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee
(DGAC) advocate for the Mediterranean diet and healthful modifications of typical
American diets.

While there is general agreement that trans and saturated fats are harmful, and
monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are relatively healthful, the Mediterranean
diet advocates consider these “healthy fats” appropriate sources of a substantial amount of calories. In contrast, the ULF advocates would minimize the intake of all fats. They point out that merely restricting total fat calories has little impact on
blood lipid biomarkers. Their overall conclusion is that the type of fats consumed
appears to be far more relevant for cardiac and metabolic health than the proportion
of calories consumed from total fat. Their dietary advice concerning fat is to
focus on the type of fat rather than the total amount, and they emphasize the risks
of replacing fat with sugar and refined carbohydrates. If your CVD biomarkers
are not in a healthy range, the Mediterranean diet may be all that is needed to bring
them to an ideal range.

What to eat when on a Mediterranean diet:

• Whole, unrefined, unprocessed plant-based foods, i.e., fruits, vegetables,
whole grains, beans, and legumes.
• Healthier oils, polyunsaturates and, mainly, monounsaturates, e.g., olive oil
• Limited dairy (mostly yogurt and cheese)
• Nuts and seeds
• Moderate seafood and poultry
• Moderate wine

What to avoid when on a Mediterranean diet:

• Processed foods
• Limit red meat
• Added sugars
• Trans and saturated fats

The Harvard Health Letter suggests measuring daily food totals in cups, ounces,
and tablespoons rather than servings.358 Depending on needed calorie intake, the
Letter recommends the consumption of 2.5 to 3 cups of vegetables, including legumes,
1.5 to 2 cups of fruit, half a cup of whole grains, 5 to 6 ounces of poultry, or
fish, and 1 to 2 tablespoons of healthy oils.

This blog presents opinions and ideas and is intended to provide helpful general information. I am not engaged in rendering advice or services to the individual reader. The ideas, procedures and suggestions in that are presented are not in any way a substitute for the advice and care of the reader’s own physician or other medical professional based on the reader’s own individual conditions, symptoms or concerns. If the reader needs personal medical, health, dietary, exercise or other assistance or advice the reader should consult a physician and/or other qualified health professionals. The author specifically disclaims all responsibility for any injury, damage or loss that the reader may incur as a direct or indirect consequence of following any directions or suggestions given in this blog or participating in any programs described in this blog or in the book, The Building Blocks of Health––How to Optimize Your Health with a Lifestyle Checklist (available in print or downloaded at Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble and elsewhere). Copyright 2021 by J. Joseph Speidel.