Alcohol and the Mediterranean Diet (Drinking Alcohol is Major Part)

The Mediterranean diet has long been recognized as being unusually effective in promoting good health. It’s especially useful in reducing the risks cardiovascular diseases. Alcohol and the Mediterranean diet can both improve health. But what’s the Mediterranean diet and what’s the importance of alcohol in that diet?

alcohol and the Mediterrianian dietThe Diet

The Mediterranian diet is

  • Consuming alcohol (beer, wine and liquor) regularly and in moderation.
  • Limiting meat and dairy products.
  • Consuming lots of vegetables, legumes, nuts, fruits, cereals and fish.
  • Emphasizing monounsaturated fats over saturated fats.

Researchers at the University of Athens presented an analysis of Greek data from the European study EPIC. They did so at the annual meeting of the European Association for Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation,

They calculated the specific sources of the health benefits provided by the Mediterranean diet. Here are their findings.

  • Moderate alcohol (beer, wine, liquor or spirits) consumtion (24%)
  • Low intake of meat and meat products (17%)
  • High vegetable consumption (16%).

     nut and fruit consumption (11%).

     monounsaturated-to-saturated fat consumption (11%).

     legume consumption (11%).

In addition to reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases, the diet also promotes many other health and longevity benefits.

Resources: Drinking Alcohol and the Mediterranean Diet

For recipes and other helpful information, visit the Oldways website. (Pyramid by permission Oldways.)

Useful Readings

Raffetto, M. and Peterson, W. The Mediterranean Diet for Dummies. Hoboken: Wiley, 2017.

Riolo, A. The Ultimate Mediterranean Diet Cookbook. Beverly, MA: Fair Winds, 2015.     

Sanchez, A. The Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease through the Mediterranean Diet. London: Academic, 2018.    

Santos, R. The Ketogenic Mediterranean Diet. Berkeley: Ulysses, 2017.   

Web Page

Drinkers Live Longer: Why?

Alcohol, Health & Longevity: Is it the Alcohol or the Lifestyle?

Moderate Drinking Reduces Heart and Circulation Diseases.

Alcohol, Tradition, and Health: How are They Connected?


Am Coun Sci and Health. Clarifying the Mediterranean diet. Health and Sci Dispatch. May, 2013.

Phend, C. Mediterranean Diet Still being Refined. MedPage Today, April 22, 2013.