Slide show: The Mediterranean diet
Mediterranean diet pyramid
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People who follow the Mediterranean diet have a longer life expectancy and lower rates of chronic diseases than do other adults. Indeed, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans point to the Mediterranean diet as an example of a healthy-eating plan.

The Mediterranean diet emphasizes plant-based foods, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts. It replaces butter with healthy fats, such as olive oil and canola oil, and uses herbs and spices instead of salt to flavor foods. Red meat is limited to no more than a few times a month, while fish should be on the menu twice a week. The Mediterranean diet is also about enjoying delicious foods — as you'll see in this guide.

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