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People often refer to the Mediterranean diet as an important choice as a healthy diet, but what foods are included in this diet?  Plant-based foods play a major role in the Mediterranean diet.  Vegetables, nuts, and potatoes are important as well as fish and poultry.  A key part of the diet is reducing the amount of red meat.  What's the major source of fat?  Probably olive oil.  And moderate amounts of red wine are encouraged.  Several studies have found that the Mediterranean diet helps increase the amount of HDL, or good cholesterol, as well as slowing the LDL, or bad cholesterol.  There is no doubt the Mediterranean diet has some key advantages.  The bottom line is that there are many healthy choices out there, but what we should try to do is eat a balanced diet and try to reduce processed foods.  They're the foods high in saturated fat.  

By: Brian McDonough, M.D., FAAFP