In the 1960s, people in the Mediterranean countries used to follow a diet that kept them lean, active and healthy. Based on that retro food habits, a diet plan is designed by experts to follow and retain your health.
What is the Mediterranean diet?
As mentioned earlier, a Mediterranean diet is a food regime followed by the natives of the Mediterranean countries. This diet plan was designed to ward off the risks of lifestyle diseases taking a toll on the contemporary population.
The studies and research on this diet plan show significant development among those who have followed it well. Lifestyle diseases like Diabetes Type II, cardiovascular and strokes can be prevented by following a Mediterranean diet meal plan.
What a Mediterranean diet meal should and should not have?
A Mediterranean diet meal plan will follow the basics mentioned below. These basic pointers can be adjusted as per your requirements too.
Things you can eat
The first thing you need to know is what you can eat. Follow the pointers mentioned to find out what you can eat and make good use of this plan.
In vegetables, you can eat kale, spinach, broccoli, tomatoes, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cucumbers, etc.
Almonds, macadamia nuts, walnuts, hazelnuts, peanuts, cashews, pumpkin and sunflower seeds are consumable.
Beans, lentils, peas, pulses, chickpeas, etc can also be consumed.
Potatoes, turnips, sweet potatoes, and yams are ideal for consumption. Make sure you are consuming a limited amount of carbohydrates from these tubers.
Brown rice, whole oats, corn, barley, pasta, whole wheat, etc can be consumed. You can also go for whole-grain bread available in the supermarkets.
Poultry and milk products
Eggs, chicken, turkey, duck, yogurt, cheese and other milk products should be eaten in a moderate concentration. You can add them twice or thrice a week to your meal plan.
Adding rare meat in your diet is quite rare according to the standard protocol. Beef, pork, and related products should be consumed rarely. Processed meat products should be avoided too.
Things you shouldn’t eat
Sugar is the first thing you need to avoid absolutely. Drinking sweetened beverages should be restricted.
Unhealthy foods you must avoid
Apart from the pointer depicting unhealthy foods, here are some you must avoid eating.
- Trans fat-containing food such as margarine
- Highly processed products
- Refined oils such as cottonseed oil, canola oil, and soybean oil
- Processed red meat products such as hot dogs, sausages, bacon, salami, etc.
The experts suggest reading the labels of food products you buy in a supermarket carefully to understand what you are consuming.
What you can drink in a Mediterranean diet?
A Mediterranean diet plan restricts drinking alcohol. You can go for a glass of red wine for a day. This is optional. Alcoholism will mess with the diet plan. You can avoid drinking alcohol. Plain water is ideal. Avoid sweetened coffee or tea. Fruit juices with a high sugar concentration must be avoided.
7-day Mediterranean diet meal plan
Here is a list of things you can eat in a week to start with.
Add olives and veggies in your omelet to start your day. Eat pizza if you want or go for pasta. Grilled poultry stuffed with a potato and veggies. Eat fruits to end the day well.
Greek yogurt, oats, and strawberries are a good combination for your breakfast. Prepare a sandwich from whole-grain bread and vegetables. Stick to fish salad preparations for dinner. Eat fruits at the end.
Start your Tuesday with oatmeal mixed with nuts and raisins. Indulge in a fish salad again. At night, go veggies by preparing a salad with cheese and olives.
A veggie omelet with onions followed by a fruit will be ideal to begin your day. For lunch, a veggie sandwich made fresh. End the day with a sumptuous Mediterranean Lasagna.
Mix sliced nuts and fruits to your yogurt for breakfast. Eat Mediterranean lasagna you prepared last night for lunch. Go for broiled fish, preferably salmon, with veggies and brown rice for dinner.
Fry an egg or two with veggies in olive oil for breakfast. Eat strawberries, nuts, and oats with Greek Yogurt in lunch. Bake a potato to eat with grilled lamb and salad for dinner.
Eat an apple after completing your oatmeal prepared with nuts and resin for breakfast. Go for a veggie sandwich again for lunch. Eat a Mediterranean whole wheat pizza made with vegetables, olives, and cheese.
Mediterranean diet shopping list
To stick to this diet plan, you will need a proper Mediterranean diet shopping list mentioned below.
- Carrots broccoli, spinach, turnips, garlic, etc
- Bananas, apples, grapes, oranges, etc.
- Blueberries and strawberries
- Whole-grain pasta and bread
- Lentils, beans, and pulses
- Walnuts, peanuts, cashew, almonds, etc.
- Mackerel, sardines, salmon, and trout
- Yam, sweet potatoes and potatoes
- Greek Yogurt
- Chicken or turkey
- Virgin olive oil
Snacks you can eat in a Mediterranean diet
When you are hungry, these healthy snacks will keep you stick to the diet plan.
- baby carrots
- grapes and berries
FAQs regarding the Mediterranean diet
What do you eat for breakfast on the Mediterranean diet?
You can eat veggie sandwiches, veggie omelets, and salad in breakfast in a Mediterranean diet regime.
Can you eat pasta on the Mediterranean diet?
Whole-grain pasta with veggies, olives, and nuts are ideal to eat in lunch, breakfast or dinner.
How much weight can you lose on the Mediterranean diet?
It varies. If you stick to a 1200-calorie Mediterranean diet plan, you can lose 1-2 pounds.
- What kind of cheese is allowed on the Mediterranean diet?
Chevre, feta, brie, halloumi, ricotta, and pecorino cheese can be consumed in this diet plan.
What sweets can I eat on the Mediterranean diet?
Honey yogurt, olive orange cake, lemon cake, whipped yogurt with nuts and apples can be consumed. Avoid anything that contains sugar.
Are Mediterranean people healthy?
Studies show that Mediterranean natives have lowered risks of cancer, diabetes, heart diseases, obesity, etc following this diet.
A Mediterranean diet needs to be trimmed according to your physiological needs. There is no one universal size that fits all. Find Mediterranean recipes online. Focus on what an expert dietician suggests and enjoy a healthy lifestyle with good food habits.