What is Mediterranean Diet Plan?
The Mediterranean diet is modeled after the traditional foods of countries such as Italy and Greece back in 1960. Researchers discovered that these people in these countries were exceptionally healthy when compared to Americans. These people also had a low risk of lifestyle diseases. It was further found that the Mediterranean diet could cause weight loss and prevent strokes, heart attacks, type 2 diabetes, and even premature death.
Printable Mediterranean Diet Meal Plans
However, it must be noted that there is no right “way” to the Mediterranean diet due to the multitude of countries, people, and food around the Mediterranean sea.
This article explains the dietary pattern in a Mediterranean diet. As stated earlier, there is no Mediterranean meal written in stone, and the plan given in this article is more of a guideline. You can experiment and adapt any of it to your taste.
Here are the basics:
Eat bread, extra virgin olive oil. Fish, fruits, nuts, herbs, legumes, potatoes, seafood seeds, spices, Vegetables, whole grains,
Eat moderately: Poultry, cheese, eggs, and yogurt.
Eat sparingly: Red meat.
Avoid Sugar-sweetened beverages, processed meat, refined grains, added sugars, refined oils, and highly processed foods generally.
Foods Avoid During Mediterranean Diet
Avoid these foods and ingredients. Note that this list is by no means exhaustive:
Sugar and high-fructose corn syrup: Fruit juices, soft drinks, table sugar, candy, pastries, ice cream.
Refined grains: pasta made with refined wheat, white bread.
Refined oils: Soybean oil, cottonseed oil canola oil.
Trans fats found in processed foods and margarine. Also “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated” oils.
Processed meat: Hot dogs, Processed sausages.
Highly processed foods in general.
Foods to Eat on Mediterranean Diet Plan
Precisely which foods are Mediterranean diet is controversial because of the variations between different countries. The menu is, however, relatively low in animal foods and high in healthy plant foods. Regardless, eating seafood and fish at least twice a week is recommended. The Mediterranean lifestyle also requires sharing meals with other people and enjoying life. It would be best if you base your diet on the following foods:Dairy: Cheese, Greek yogurt, yogurt. You can even make delicious and healthy Greek yogurt at home with this genius Greek yogurt maker (Amazon choice)
Eggs: Chicken, duck, and quail eggs.
Fish and seafood: Salmon, trout, tuna, sardines, mackerel, oysters, clams, crab, shrimp, mussels.
Fruits: Apples, bananas, , pears, strawberries, grapes, oranges, figs, melons, peaches, dates, macadamia nuts.
Healthy Fats: Extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil, olives and avocados.
Herbs and spices: Basil, mint, garlic, rosemary, sage, cinnamon, pepper, nutmeg.
Legumes: Beans, lentils, pulses, peas, peanuts, chickpeas.
Nuts and seeds: Almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, cashews, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds.
Poultry: Chicken, turkey, duck.
Tubers: Potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams, turnips.
Vegetables: Tomatoes, broccoli, kale, onions, cauliflower, , spinach, Brussels sprouts, cucumbers, carrots.
Whole grains: Whole oats, rye, barley, corn, brown rice, buckwheat, whole-grain bread, pasta, whole wheat.
Whole, single-ingredient foods.
Also, water should be your main drink on a Mediterranean diet. However, you can have around one glass of optional red wine per day too. Coffee and tea are on the diet as long as you avoid sugar-sweetened beverages and fruit juices, which are very high in sugar.
One Week Mediterranean Sample Menu
This sample menu contains a balanced Mediterranean diet. By all means, alter this plan based on your preferences.
Breakfast: Greek yogurt, strawberries, and oats.
Lunch: Vegetables and whole-grain sandwich.
Dinner: A tuna salad in olive oil and fruit.
Breakfast: Oatmeal and raisins.
Lunch: Leftover tuna salad.
Dinner: Salad, tomatoes, feta cheese, and olives.
Breakfast: Omelet, vegetables, tomatoes, onions, and fruit.
Lunch: Vegetables, cheese and whole-grain sandwich.
Dinner: Mediterranean lasagne and fruit.
Breakfast: Yogurt, sliced fruits, and nuts.
Lunch: Leftover Mediterranean lasagne.
Dinner: Broiled salmon, brown rice, and vegetables.
Breakfast: Eggs, vegetables, dressed in olive oil.
Lunch: Greek yogurt, strawberries, nuts, and oats.
Dinner: Grilled lamb, baked potato, and salad.
Breakfast: Oatmeal, nuts, raisins, and one apple.
Lunch: Vegetables and whole-grain sandwich.
Dinner: Mediterranean pizza made of whole wheat, topped with vegetables, olives, and cheese.
Breakfast: Omelet, olives, and vegetables.
Lunch: Leftover pizza.
Dinner: Grilled chicken, potato, vegetable, and fruit.
When on the Mediterranean diet, you don’t have you track your calorie consumption rate. However, you might have to do so if you need to lose much weight. In that circumstance, it will be advisable to limit your carbohydrate intake as well as high-fat foods like nuts too.
Healthy Mediterranean Snacks are a handful of nuts, a piece of fruit, apple slices with almond butter, carrots or baby carrots, greek yogurt, leftovers from the night before, and some berries or grapes.
Though there is a right way to defined the Mediterranean diet, the diet is generally lower in animal foods and very rich in healthy plant foods. It also emphasizes on fish and seafood. The menu is also very satisfying and incredibly healthy.
Printable Mediterranean Diet Plan (PDF)