The Mediterranean Diet

Diets Based On Culture & What That Means To You

For some reason or another, I never really entertained the thought of my culture, my familial background, as being something I should take into consideration when I was deciding what to eat.

However when I began my training as a Holistic Health Counselor at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, a book fell into my hands that made me completely change my mind.

If you’d like a sneak peak, click on the book title. That book is Ann Louise Gittleman’s Your Body Knows Best

I’m actually going to be bringing that book into a discussion later on, so stay tuned! I think it’s a must-have for anyone who’s trying to figure out this crazy thing called health!

But back to Culture, for now!

The concept of bring your family heritage into your daily diet is not a new one. If you still live in the area where your ancestors lived, then you probably are eating the same foods, or similar, that your ancestors ate.

You won’t find this concept of diet too earth-shattering.

But for everyone else who has been scattered all over the planet, then this might come as an interesting tidbit.

Your body is genetically programmed to treat carbohydrate, protein and fat in a very specific way and just because you’re eating what the “experts” are telling you to eat DOES NOT mean that you will ever attain your greatest level of health.


Because you’re missing a piece to the puzzle. Plain and simple.

For today’s purposes, I’m going to address just one segment of the population but one that has made the news.

I’ll focus on the cultures that adopt a Mediterranean style of eating.

The book is “The Mediterranean Diet” written by Marissa Cloutier, MS, RD and Eve Adamson.

Check the book out here The Mediterranean Diet

These are my thoughts.

What it is:

The Mediterranean Diet, much like any other cultural based diet, take the native foods of the Mediterranean area and makes those foods the basis of a healthy, heart conscious diet.

If your family (and I’m talking ancestors, not your parents) didn’t eat it, chances are, you probably shouldn’t be eating it either.

The Mediterranean Diet is heavy on the heart healthy fats and oils, especially olives and olive oil. The diet is high in “good” fats and high in fiber.

This diet is especially popular because of it’s effects on longevity, or at least the documented effects on the existing population in the areas surrounding the Mediterranean.

What I like:

I like how the cultural piece is included. It only makes sense to me to take into account all of you- even where your family is from. Genetic programming takes centuries to take effect, so why do we think that if we move to another country or climate that that should automatically be neglected.

This diet in particular is good because they do focus on healthier foods across the board. You are given a list of foods that are common to the area and that you are encouraged to eat. You are even given pages upon pages of recipes.

Chances are, you will lose weight on this diet. You will lower your cholesterol overall, probably not as much if you’re genetically predisposed, but you will see at least an overall lowering.

What I think could use improvement:

It doesn’t work for everyone. I feel like the diet itself is solid but if your cultural background is no where near Mediterranean, it won’t be a perfect fit for you. You will see results, but it won’t be as personally tailored for you as your own ancestral foods would be.

They don’t mention that on the back of the book cover.

Also, finding the exact foods for this diet may prove to be a bit of a challenge in certain locations. If you’re in an urban or suburban area, you will be able to find the foods sometimes very easily, sometimes with a little more effort.

Outside of those areas, good luck in the wintertime.

I think it’s fascinating, incredibly insightful and helpful and absolutely beneficial to know about. We would all benefit to do a bit of research into our own backgrounds and see what pieces of our ancestral diets would work within our lifestyles.

Who this would work best for:

*Anyone even remotely curious about what is suggested for their familial heritage
*Anyone who doesn’t know where to start, period.
*Anyone who is frustrated by their current dietary standing and doesn’t understand why they can’t seem to make improvements
*Anyone who is of Mediterranean descent especially if a parent or grandparent was born in that area

Should you try it?

Sure! At the very least, you’ll be exposed to some really great, tasty & heart healthy meals.

You might get some weight loss, you might have better cholesterol levels. It really depends on how well your body reacts. Chances are, you will not have an overly difficult time on this diet, unless you dislike olives.

Positive benefits, continue on. Status quo or not any better- try something else.

For more information:

Google “The Mediterranean Diet”. You will find hundreds of links of commentary on the diet itself as well as links to pages who sell foods listed on the “Good” list on the pages in the Mediterranean diet book.

Custom Search

Any questions? Contact Annette if you’d like more help integrating this into your current lifestyle.

Shoot an email to Annette at and let her know that you’d like to chat!

Please follow and like us:

Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)