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If you're looking for a healthy diet, skip the weird "cookie diets" and diets that force you to eliminate entire food groups. The Meditarranean diet includes tasty and normal foods that can not only help you to lose weight, but can also improve your heart health. On top of that, the diet also includes an occasional glass of red wine if you choose.

The Mediterranean diet is similar to other healthy diets that medical professionals advocate, including eliminating unhealthy fats like butter, getting plenty of exercise, eating plenty of plant-based foods, limiting the consumption of red meat, and using spices instead of salt to flavor foods. However, what is also unique about the Meditarranean diet is that it advocates eating fish or seafood at least twice a week–not something most Americans are used to doing. But for individuals who live near the Mediterranean Sea, this isn't uncommon. In addition to eating more seafood, the Mediterranean diet also includes eating lots of whole grains and nuts.

Overall, researchers have found that following such a diet can significantly reduce many chronic diseases. In fact, research shows that 1.5 million Americans who follow such a diet had a reduced risk of heart-related death, cancer, and Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases. Maybe what this diet teaches us the most is that we focus too heavily on weight loss in this country and not enough on our overall health. Following a healthy diet is a life-long process, not a quick fix that helps us drop the pounds within a few months while our hearts and the rest of our bodies continue to suffer from poor health.

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