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The Mediterranean Diet Quiz

Sliced tomatoes with feta cheese, olives, olive oil, and a pice of whole grain bread with diced tomatoes and feta cheese on top

The Mediterranean Diet is one of the most thoroughly studied diets for improving heart and brain health. There is evidence from both historical observation and randomized clinical trials that eating in this fashion can lower your risk of heart disease or dementia later in life. The studies also show that the better you follow the diet, the more it improves your health. You have probably heard of the Mediterranean diet, but how well do you know it? Take the quiz below to find out.


Which of the following are you encouraged to eat every day on the Mediterranean Diet (select all that apply)?

     A.  Whole Grains

     B.  Fish

     C.  Low fat Yogurt

     D.  Fresh Fruits and Berries

     E.  Sausage


      Answer: A, C, and D. Fish only 2- 3 times per week. Sausage never.


      What is a standard size of a serving (helping) of fish, poultry, or meat?

           A.  1 ounce

           B.  3 ounces

           C.  6 ounces

           D.  8 ounces

           E.  10 or more ounces


        Answer: B. That is 3 ounces after cooking, which tends to mean 4-5 ounces before cooking.


        Which oils or spreads are part of the Mediterranean diet (select all that apply)?

             A.  Mayonnaise

             B.  Margarine

             C.  Olive oil

             D.  Sunflower oil

             E.  Coconut oil


          Answer: C.  More specifically, only extra virgin olive oil since other olive oils have lower content of healthy polyphenols. Although coconut oil is not part of the classic Mediterranean diet, some recent variation like Keto-Medi or Paleo-Medi diet hybrids include coconut oil.


          How many vegetables should you eat each day?

               A.  A bite or two

               B.  Half a cup

               C.  One cup

               D.  Two cups

               E.  Four cups


            Answer: D. E is also true, but more than necessary – you are a high achiever.


            Which of the following contributes to your daily vegetable requirement (select all that apply)?

                 A.  Kale and lettuce in a green salad

                 B.  Baked potato with sour cream

                 C.  Roasted brussel sprouts

                 D.  Deep fried zucchini sticks

                 E.  Sauteed mushrooms


              Answer: A, C, E.  E – sauteed in extra virgin olive of course.  B – most versions of the Mediterranean diet do not include potatoes though there are exceptions; however, sour cream is a definite contraindication for the Mediterranean diet.  D – zucchini is good, but deep-fried foods of any kind are not healthy


              Which of the following contributes to your daily fruit requirement (select all that apply)?

                   A.  Raspberries

                   B.  Avocados

                   C.  A carton of low-fat yogurt with strawberry on the bottom

                   D.  Lemon wedges in a glass of sparkling water

                   E.  Dried tart cherries


                Answer: A, B, D and E.  B – avocados are a fruit not a vegetable. C – this could be argued but the Mediterranean diet does call for minimally processed fruits and the added sugar makes this more akin to a sweet, which are restricted.  D – yes, but remember a serving is typically the size of the piece of fruit so you may need multiple wedges. E – dried fruits are allowed on at least some versions of the Mediterranean diet.


                Which of the following meals are consistent with the Mediterranean diet (select all that apply)?

                     A.  Chickpea pasta topped with creamy Alfredo sauce

                     B.  Grilled salmon on a bed of fennel and onion, topped with roasted lemon slices

                     C.  Tacos stuffed with roasted chicken and topped with guacamole and Pico de Gallo

                     D.  Fish and chips

                     E.  Lentil curry over brown rice


                  Answer: B, C, E.  A – chickpea pasta is good, but the dairy fat content of Alfredo sauce is excessive. D – deep fried potatoes make this a nonstarter; fish is good, but it is typically deep fried in this dish and fried foods are excluded from the Mediterranean diet. B and C – note the fish or chicken serving size should be about 3 ounces.


                  Which of the following breakfast meals are consistent with the Mediterranean diet (select all that apply)?

                       A.  Pancakes with butter, syrup topped and sliced strawberries

                       B.  Whole grain bread topped with almond butter and avocados

                       C.  Low fat Greek yogurt topped with fresh berries

                       D.  Omelet stuffed with mushrooms, peppers, onions, and feta cheese

                       E.  Omelet stuffed with ham and cheddar cheese


                    Answer: B, C, D.  D – note that both eggs and cheese are only allowed occasionally on the Mediterranean diet.  A – typical pancakes are not whole grain and the strawberries do not make up for the disallowed butter; syrup also risks pushing this into the category of a sweet treat. E – processed meats are not allowed, and the absence of vegetables or fruits is against the spirit of the Mediterranean Diet.


                    Which of the following snacks are consistent with the Mediterranean diet (select all that apply)?

                         A.  Hummus with celery sticks

                         B.  Low fat Mozzarella cheese sticks

                         C.  Hot sausage sticks

                         D.  Potato chips

                         E.  Popcorn


                      Answer: A, B, and possibly E. E – popcorn is not typically on the Mediterranean diet list, but some experts feel that as a whole kernel grain it is consistent with the diet. B – remember that cheese, even low fat, is only allowed occasionally. C – processed meats are highly discouraged. D – deep fried foods are highly discouraged.