Was there ever a time when we didn't have a bottle of olive oil in the kitchen?
The traditional Mediterranean diet was introduced to Americans about 17 years ago after it officially was endorsed by the Harvard School of Public Health and the World Health Organization. With an emphasis on fruits, vegetables, nuts and whole grains as well as more fish and less red meat, the diet continues to be the darling of doctors and nutritionists.
If you aren't familiar with the details of this food plan, MayoClinic.com provides a food pyramid and easy-to-follow steps in "Mediterranean diet: Choose this heart-healthy diet option."
So what are the worst foods to have in your diet? We hate to single out any particular cuisine for finger-wagging purposes; instead we'll let you draw your own conclusions from the photo essay "Southern heart attack foods."