The Mediterranean diet, recently named the best diet by U.S. News & World Report for the sixth year in a row, has been the subject of hundreds of studies, the first one in 1948 on the Greek island of Crete. That alone makes it unique, as no other diet has been so rigorously studied, says Elena Paravantes, RDN, a dietitian in Chicago and Athens, Greece, and author of The Mediterranean Diet Cookbook for Beginners. It certainly explains why this diet has such staying power and has received accolades from the medical community for promoting health and longevity. And while nothing has changed about the original diet over the decades, there’s a more recent “green” version of it, and experts are also calling for the original version to become more culturally attuned. At a time when Americans’ health is slipping further south, an evolution could encourage more people to follow the diet. In these pages you will learn the do’s and don’ts of the Mediterranean diet, easy recipes, a simple shopping list and how to incorporate the Med Diet into you everyday life!