Food-Based Dietary Guidelines

Virtually all European Food-Based Dietary Guidelines include similar categories in a visual layout for easy understanding. 

The following is an example from Greece: The Mediterranean Diet food pyramid:

  • Vegetables: Eat a wide variety of green and leafy vegetables. Limited intake of potatoes is recommended, because they are full of rapidly digested starch, which has the same roller-coaster effect on blood sugar as refined grains and sweets. In the short-term, these surges in blood sugar and insulin lead to hunger and overeating, and in the long term, to weight gain, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic disorders.
  • Fruits: Choose a color variety of fruits every day.
  • Whole Grains: Consume whole grains (oatmeal, whole wheat bread, and brown rice). Processed grains, similarly to potatoes, are high in starch and create sugar spikes in the blood stream, which are detrimental to health.
  • Proteins:Focus on chicken, fish, nuts and beans, and non-animal proteins. Limit red meat and avoid processed meats, since eating even small quantities of these on a regular basis raises the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, colon cancer, and weight gain.
  • Healthy Oils: Limit butter and avoid trans-fat. Use olive, canola, and other plant oils in cooking, on salads, and at the table, since these healthy fats reduce harmful cholesterol and are good for the heart.
  • Water: Drink water, tea, or coffee (with little or no sugar). Limit milk and dairy (1-2 servings per day) and juice (1 small glass a day) and avoid sugary drinks.

You can read more about the Mediterranean Diet here.