A dietary style based on food patterns typical of Greece (Crete) and southern Italy in the early 1960s: abundant plant foods, fresh fruit as the typical daily dessert, olive oil as the principal source of fat, dairy products (principally cheese and yogurt), fish and poultry consumed in low to moderate amounts, zero to four eggs consumed weekly, red meat consumed in low amounts, and wine consumed in low to moderate amounts. Total fat in this diet is 25% to 35% of calories, with saturated fat at 8% or less of calories. The Mediterranean diet consists of a healthier balance between (higher) omega-3 and (lower) omega-6 fatty acids (compared to the Western diet).

Research has shown that people who follow this diet are less likely to develop cardiovascular diseases (e.g., heart disease).