Here's what Eva had to say on the differences between the standard American diet and the Mediterranean diet:
a) Most people say the Mediterranean diet is high in fat. Can people still lose or maintain weight on a Mediterranean diet?
While the Mediterranean diet is high in fat, it is high in the monounsaturated and polyunsaturated healthy fats, in contrast to diets rich in saturated fat. It is not the fat content that will determine weight loss on the Mediterranean diet. People who wish to eat the Mediterranean diet may experience other health benefits but still not lose weight if they do not lower their caloric intake.
b) What makes the Mediterranean diet different from the common American diet?
Americans consume high numbers of red meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy, while the Mediterranean includes very little. The diet also differs from the typical American diet through its dependence on fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, olive oil, beans, breads, cereals, and potatoes.
c) Why people in the Mediterranean have lower heart disease?
Research has indicated that the foods in the Mediterranean diet play an important role in lowering heart disease. Research also indicates that the Mediterranean diet requires a more holistic approach to a healthy lifestyle than most other diets.
d) How does exercise, walking, and physical activity enter into the "recipe" for the Mediterranean diet and health?
Exercise is a vital part of maintaining the Mediterranean diet. The Mediterranean diet is based on the food choices and lifestyles of the region during the early Sixties and during that time period, physical activity was an important part of their culture. Daily hourly walks are encouraged, as are exercises for at least one hour a week that utilize the entire body.
e) How the Mediterranean diet differ from the Low Carb diet?
The Mediterranean diet features little protein, in contrast to low-carb diets. Only fifteen percent of the calories consumed each day on the Mediterranean diet come from protein.
f) How has wine figured into the Mediterranean diet? How much per day is recommended?
Wine is recommended in low to moderate amounts. For men, five percent of their calories per day can come from wine, while women can consume up to two and a half percent.
g) Final Tips
The Mediterranean lifestyle is most effective when including a range of root vegetables, foods high in omega-3 acids, and vegetable oils such as flaxseed or canola. Along with fruits, breads, and cereals, these foods may lower your risk for cardiovascular disease.
More at Mediterranean Diet Pyramid.