The Mediterranean Diet is based on the traditional foods that people used to eat in countries like Spain, Italy and Greece in the 60s. The researchers were able to prove that these people were exceptionally healthy compared to the Americans, and that they had a lower risk of suffering from many deadly diseases. There are many studies that have been able to show that the Mediterranean diet helps to lose weight, and to prevent heart attacks, strokes, type 2 diabetes and premature death.
A Plan of Meals of Mediterranean Diet
There is no “right” way to do the Mediterranean diet. There are many countries in the Mediterranean Sea and not all do it in the same way. In this article I will explain the diet that is normally prescribed in studies that have shown that it is an effective way to eat. Consider these indications as a general guide. You can adjust this plan to your individual needs and preferences.
The Basics of this Diet
You can eat: Vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes, potatoes, whole grains, breads, herbs, spices, fish, seafood and extra virgin olive oil
Eat moderately: Poultry, eggs, cheese and yogurt.
Eat only on specific occasions: Red meat
Do not eat: Sugary beverages, processed meat, refined grains, refined oils and other highly processed foods.
Avoid These Little Healthy Foods
It is important that you avoid these unhealthy foods and ingredients:
Added sugar: Soda, candies, ice cream, table sugar and many others.
Refined grains: white bread, pasta made with refined wheat, etc.
Trans fats: You can find them in margarine and other processed foods.
Refined oils: Soybean oil, canola oil, cottonseed oil and others
Meat products: Processed sausages, hot dogs, etc.
Highly processed foods: Everything you see with a label such as “low fat” or “diet” that looks like it was made in a factory.
It is important that you read ingredient labels to avoid eating these unhealthy foods.
Food You Can Eat
You must base your diet on healthy Mediterranean foods that are not processed.
Vegetables: Tomatoes, broccoli, kale, spinach, onions, cauliflower, carrots, Brussels sprouts, cucumbers, etc.
Fruits: Apples, bananas, oranges, pears, grapes, dates, figs, melons, peaches, etc.
Nuts and seeds: Almonds, nuts, macadamine nuts, hazelnuts, cashew nuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and many more.
Legumes: Beans, peas, lentils, legumes, peanuts, chickpeas, etc.
Tubers: Potatoes, turnips, yams, etc.
Whole grains: whole grain oats, brown rice, rye, barley, corn, buckwheat, whole wheat, whole grain bread and pasta.
Fish and seafood: We have salmon, sardines, trout, tuna, mackerel, shrimp, oysters, clams, crabs, mussels, etc.
Birds: Chicken, duck, turkey and much more
Eggs: Chicken, quail, duck eggs
Dairy products: Cheese, yogurt, Greek yogurt, etc.
Herbs and spices: Garlic, basil, mint, rosemary, sage, nutmeg, cinnamon, pepper, etc.
Good fats: Extra virgin olive oil, olives, avocados and avocado oil
Whole foods are the key to your good health
Things to Keep In Mind
The Mediterranean diet prescribed in studies in high in foods of vegetable origin, and relatively low in foods of animal origin. Despite that, it is recommended to eat fish and shellfish at least twice a week. The Mediterranean lifestyle also involves physical activity on a regular basis, sharing meals with other people and enjoying life.
What to Drink
As in many other diets, water should be key in this eating plan. With this diet you can also take moderate amounts of black wine, about 1 glass a day. If you suffer from alcoholism or have problems controlling your consumption better than forgetting to drink it.
“The coffee and tea are also valid, but should avoid sugary drinks and fruit juices, which are also very high in sugar”.
Related article: We analyze the controversial Dukan Diet.
Mediterranean Diet Menu for a Week
Let’s go with an example of a Mediterranean diet menu for a week. Feel free to adjust the rations and the choice of foods according to your own needs and preferences.
- Breakfast: Greek yogurt and apple
- Food: Whole grain sandwich with chicken breast
- Dinner: Tuna salad with olive oil. A piece of fruit for dessert.
- Breakfast: Two hard-boiled eggs with vegetables
- Food: Salad of leftover tuna from the previous night
- Dinner: Salad and tomatoes, olives and feta cheese.
- Breakfast: Tortillas with vegetables and tomatoes. A piece of fruit
- Food: Whole grain sandwitch, with cheese and fresh vegetables.
- Dinner: Mediterranean lasagna
- Breakfast: Yogurt with fruits and nuts.
- Food: Lasagna from leftovers from the previous night
- Dinner: Baked salmon, served with brown rice and vegetables.
- Breakfast: Eggs and vegetables, cooked with olive oil
- Food: Greek yogurt and oranges, barley and nuts
- Dinner: Tortilla with salad and baked potato.
- Breakfast: Barley flour with tuna, nuts and an apple
- Food: Whole grain sandwitch with chicken breast
- Dinner: Mediterranean pizza made with whole wheat, covered with cheese, vegetables and olives
- Breakfast: Tortillas with vegetables and olives
- Food: Remains of last night’s pizza
- Dinner: Baked chicken with vegetables and a potato. Fruit for dessert
With this diet you do not have to count calories or macronutrients (proteins, fats and carbohydrates)
Healthy Snacks to Take in the Mediterranean Diet
You do not need to eat more than 3 meals a day. But if you’re hungry between meals, then you can snack on one of these healthy snacks:
- A handful of nuts
- Some berries
- Leftovers from the previous night
- Greek yogurt
- Apple slices and almond butter.
How to Follow the Diet in the Restaurants
It is very simple to follow this diet in restaurants suitable for her:
- Take some type of fish or seafood as a main course
- That the food be cooked with extra virgin olive oil
- Only eat whole grain bread, and olive oil instead of butter
List of Purchase for the Mediterranean Diet
It is always a good idea to make the purchase in the perimeter of supermarkets, in that area is usually the best foods.
Always try to choose the least processed option, if possible organic.
- Vegetables: Carrots, onions, broccoli, spinach, kale, garlic , etc.
- Fruits: apples, bananas, oranges, etc.
- Frozen vegetables: Try mixing them with healthy vegetables.
- Cereals: Whole wheat bread, wholemeal pasta, etc.
- Legumes: Lentils, chickpeas, etc.
- Nuts: Almonds, nuts, etc.
- Seeds: Sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, etc.
- Condiments: Sea salt, turmeric, cinnamon, etc.
- Fish: Salmon, sardines, trout
- Prawns and seafood
- Potatoes and sweet potatoes
- Greek yogurt
- Grazing eggs rich in omega-3
- Extra virgin olive oil
I recommend you clean the kitchen of all those temptations that can ruin your diet plan, soft drinks, sweets, cakes, white bread, cookies and all kinds of processed foods
Do You Want to Know More About This Diet?
You have good books to expand the information on this great diet, I hope you read them and tell me your results with it.