Diet fads come and go, but we’ve already learned what works—partly from a study begun in the ’50s that shed light on what kinds of lifestyles may be good for you. Called the Seven Countries Study, it included 12,763 men in four world regions and found that the diets of people residing near the Mediterranean Sea, plus healthful living, were linked with increased well-being.
The “Mediterranean diet” is less a set of restrictions on foods and methods of creating meals and more a fitness-lifestyle plan that consists of lots of fruits and vegetables, nuts, legumes, and whole-wheat grains; more olive oil, less butter; elimination of red meat; limited sweets; some wine; and low trans and saturated fats.
Today, the Med diet is still one of the best ways to eat and live well. Here’s how to tweak it to optimize muscle gain, too.