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  • Why Mediterranean Diet and Intermittent Fasting are the Perfect Pair for a Healthy Lifestyle

Why Mediterranean Diet and Intermittent Fasting are the Perfect Pair for a Healthy Lifestyle

The Mediterranean diet is a plant and animal-based diet that has been shown to lower risks for heart disease, cognitive decline, and cancer.[1] The Pesco-Mediterranean diet is a variation that includes nuts, fish, seafood, extra-virgin olive oil, dairy, eggs, and modest amounts of alcohol, and has been shown to lower risks for all-cause mortality, cardiovascular disease, and mortality from other causes.

Intermittent fasting, in which you eat during a specific window of time and fast for the remainder of the day, can help with weight loss, insulin sensitivity, and improved metabolism. When paired with the Pesco-Mediterranean diet, the benefits are even greater!

The Pesco-Mediterranean diet and intermittent fasting complement each other well, as the diet provides the body with the nutrients it needs during the eating window while fasting helps the body burn stored fat during the fasting period. This pairing has been shown to help with weight loss, improved insulin sensitivity, and a reduced risk for heart disease, cognitive decline, and cancer.

To follow this diet, focus on eating a plant-rich diet with fish and seafood as the primary sources of animal food. Incorporate extra-virgin olive oil into your cooking, eat moderate amounts of dairy and eggs, and consume tree nuts and legumes as snacks. Combine this with intermittent fasting, and you have a winning combination for a healthy lifestyle.

Here’s some Mediterranean diet inspired recipes for you to improve your intermittent fasting journey:

Fattoush Salad

Yield: 4 servings


4 cups chopped romaine lettuce
1 cup chopped cucumber
1 cup chopped tomato
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon sumac
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup pita chips


In a large bowl, combine romaine lettuce, cucumber, tomato, red onion, mint, parsley, and cilantro.

In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, sumac, salt and pepper.

Drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss to combine.

Top with pita chips and serve immediately.

Lebanese Za’atar Chicken

Yield: 4 servings

4 bone-in chicken breasts
2 tablespoons za’atar seasoning
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 lemon, juiced
Salt and pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 375°F.

Rub chicken breasts with za’atar seasoning, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.

Place the chicken breasts in a baking dish and bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F.

Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Pair with your favorite salad or roasted vegetables.

Moroccan Chickpea and Lentil Soup

Yield: 6 servings


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup brown lentils, rinsed and drained
1 can diced tomatoes
4 cups vegetable broth
Salt and pepper to taste
Fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)


In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat.

Add chopped onion and minced garlic and sauté for 2-3 minutes.

Add ground cumin, ground coriander, ground cinnamon, and ground cayenne pepper and sauté for an additional minute.

Add chickpeas, brown lentils, diced tomatoes, vegetable broth, salt and pepper.

Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 30-40 minutes, or until the lentils are tender.

Serve with fresh cilantro, if desired.

1. A Pesco-Mediterranean Diet With Intermittent Fasting: Journals of the American College of Cardiology Review Topic of the Week. J Am Coll Cardiol (2020). Link.