Healthy Mediterranean-Style Eating Pattern
The Healthy Mediterranean-Style Pattern is adapted from the Healthy U.S.-Style Pattern, modifying amounts recommended from some food groups to more closely reflect eating patterns that have been associated with positive health outcomes in studies of Mediterranean-Style diets. Food group intakes from the studies that provided quantified data were compared to amounts in the Healthy U.S.-Style Pattern and adjustments were made to better reflect intakes of groups with Mediterranean-Style diets. The healthfulness of the Pattern was evaluated based on its similarity to food group intakes reported for groups with positive health outcomes in these studies rather than on meeting specified nutrient standards.
The Healthy Mediterranean-Style Pattern contains more fruits and seafood and less dairy than does the Healthy U.S.-Style Pattern. The changes in these amounts were limited to Patterns for adults, because children were not part of the studies used in modifying the Pattern. The amounts of oils in the Pattern were not adjusted because the Healthy U.S.-Style Pattern already contains amounts of oils that are similar to amounts associated with positive health outcomes in the studies, and higher than typical intakes in the United States.
Similarly, amounts of meat and poultry in the Healthy U.S.-Style Pattern are less than typical intakes in the United States and also similar to amounts associated with positive health outcomes in the studies. While not evaluated on nutrient-adequacy standards, nutrient levels in the Pattern were assessed. The Pattern is similar to the Healthy U.S.-Style Pattern in nutrient content, with the exception of calcium and vitamin D. Levels of calcium and vitamin D in the Pattern are lower because less dairy is included.
To follow this Pattern, identify the appropriate calorie level, choose a variety of foods in each group and subgroup over time in recommended amounts, and limit choices that are not in nutrient-dense forms so that the overall calorie limit is not exceeded.