While other dietary fads come and go, the Mediterranean diet endures with effectiveness and enjoyment—especially with delicious goat cheese.
With its emphasis on fresh produce, lean proteins, and heart-healthy fats, the Mediterranean diet has captured the hearts and palates of people around the globe. This enthusiasm is shared by health and nutritional experts; the panel at the U.S. News & World Report has declared it the best diet to try for the past four years.
While most diets are restrictive, the list of foods allowed by the Mediterranean diet hardly feels limiting, rather it bursts with the lively flavors of Southern Europe where goat cheese has long been cultivated.
If you can’t instantly imagine classic Mediterranean taste, our new Mediterranean Goat Cheese delivers the tasty combination of iconic regional flavors, including olives and savory herbs and spices, delicately blended into our award-winning chèvre.
Freshness is a key feature of the Mediterranean diet, which is why our goat cheese—made from fresh goat milk sourced from dairy farms within 15 miles of our creamery—fits right in with this sumptuous style of food selection.
Whether you’re a goat cheese lover looking to try the Mediterranean diet, or are preparing to host others who follow its guidelines, this overview will set you up to savor this sea’s unique sustenance.
What is a Mediterranean Diet?
The diet of course takes its name from the Mediterranean Sea, where the warm, breezy climate makes for fine farming and produce. The region’s inhabitants—particularly those of Italy, France, Greece, and Spain—have long cultivated dietary traditions favoring whole foods and seasonal ingredients, as naturally provided by the fertile land, amenable growing season, and the nearby sea.
Mediterranean Diet Food List
· Fresh fruits and vegetables
· Whole grains
· Unsalted nuts and seeds
· Lean meat
· Low-fat dairy, including (if not especially) goat cheese
· Olive oil and garlic
What Foods are Not Allowed on the Mediterranean Diet?
· Red meat
· Processed foods
· Refined grains
· Hydrogenated oils
What are the Health Benefits of a Mediterranean Diet?
The reason the Mediterranean diet has spread beyond its original region, and why it remains popular, isn’t just for its highly enjoyable flavors—though, as you’ll see with our Mediterranean diet-friendly goat cheese recipes, this is absolutely the case.
It’s the Mediterranean diet’s health benefits that help maintain its perennial preference as a great option for nutritious eating and well-being.
Mediterranean Diet Health Benefits
· Lower risk of heart disease
· Lower cholesterol
· Lower blood pressure
· Lower risk of stroke
· Lower risk of type 2 diabetes
The health benefits of a Mediterranean diet aren’t the result of any single food, but the diet overall. Consuming less unsaturated fat leads to lower cholesterol, which in turn reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke. Focusing on fresh, unprocessed food leads to a lower sodium intake, which in turn improves blood pressure.
Goat Cheese: The Mediterranean's Creamy Delight
Why does goat cheese go so well with a Mediterranean diet? In the past, the region was more amenable to raising goats due to space constrictions and a general lack of access to larger pastures required for cows. And, per Prevention, when provided 70 pounds of food each, a goat will produce one gallon of milk more than a cow, making them a slightly more efficient dairy animal. For these reasons, goat cheese production became an established practice around the Mediterranean, which is still prevalent today.
Can You Eat Goat Cheese on a Mediterranean Diet?
The historical production of goat cheese in the region lends to its inclusion in the Mediterranean diet, as does its delicious flavor—serving as a creamy complement to fresh produce and crunchy nuts and seeds. But above all, it’s goat cheese’s nutritional traits make it suitable for the diet.
In general, any cheese can be eaten on a Mediterranean diet, so long as moderation is practiced.
However, as discussed in our blog on the difference between goat cheese and cow cheese, goat cheese has a slight nutritional advantage over cow cheese. Goat cheese is particularly a better fit for the Mediterranean diet due to its lower fat, sodium, and cholesterol content—three nutritional keys to reaping the diet’s health benefits.
Mediterranean Diet Goat Cheese Recipes
Now that you have a sense of why goat cheese is allowed in the Mediterranean diet, here are just a few recommendations for goat cheese recipes that’ll have your guests forgetting any dietary restrictions are involved.
Plenty of our goat cheese salad recipes qualify for the Mediterranean diet, even with a slight tweak of the recipe. For this fresh salad, it’s just a matter of serving it atop lettuce leaves or, if you do prefer crostini, ensuring it’s whole grain. Featuring shredded carrots, apple sticks, bright cilantro, our creamy Mozzarella Goat Cheese, and a tasty homemade vinaigrette with our Original Goat Cheese, this salad embodies cool, breezy Mediterranean flavor.
For a Mediterranean diet-friendly entrée, this goat cheese chicken recipe checks all the boxes: robust flavors, lean protein, and plenty of fresh veggies. Because it’s served over rice, choose a healthier, less refined grain such as brown or Basmati rice. This goat cheese dinner recipe is topped with olives, oregano, garlic, and tangy crumbles of our Mediterranean Goat Cheese.
Just because it’s a diet doesn’t mean you can’t have dessert. Other than considering a low- or no-sugar vanilla extract, this fresh fruit and goat cheese treat gets all its sweetness from its natural ingredients. This fun, easy goat cheese dessert features berries of your choice, fresh mint, toasted coconut, and a delightfully sweet spread featuring our Original Goat Cheese.
Making the Most of a Mediterranean Diet with Goat Cheese
With all of its incredible ingredients and flavors, there are so many ways to indulge in the Mediterranean diet, especially with our variety of hard and soft goat cheeses.