There are many nutritional diets out there. One of them is the Mediterranean diet, which emphasizes eating healthy and unprocessed (whole) foods. The dietary regimen helps you maintain a healthy weight. So, you may wonder what foods are in the Mediterranean diet.
The Mediterranean diet promotes the consumption of vegetables, legumes, fish and other types of seafood, nuts and seed, olive oil, whole grains, dairy and fruits. It also allows you to have some lean meat and wine in moderation, as well as the occasional homemade desert.
So, read on to learn more about this diet and why you should try it.
The Mediterranean diet represents the tantalizing traditional cuisine of the countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea, like Italy, Greece, and Spain. This diet dazzles with its vibrant plant-based and seafood dishes, full of healthy fats, carbs and proteins. It is famous for its specific "rules" on how to incorporate specific food groups, known as the Mediterranean Food Pyramid.
To consume every day: At the base of the pyramid, which should make up the bulk of your diet, are plant-based foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, olive oil, herbs and spices.
To eat 2-3 times a week: The next level contains fish like salmon and tuna, and other types of seafood.
Allowed in moderate amounts from daily to weekly: The third group of foods in the pyramid includes lean protein sources like poultry, dairy and eggs. Here you'll also find dairy products like yogurt and cheese.
Permitted as an occasional treat: The top of the pyramid contains foods, such as sweets and red meat, which should be consumed in moderation.
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The Mediterranean Diet consists of a wide array of food types. To maximize its benefits, here are the top 10 foods you should include in your meals:
Related: What Is the Mediterranean Diet and How to Get Started?
If you are a beginner on the Mediterranean Diet, there are several aspects you need to consider when getting started.
Here are some tips that you need to keep in mind:
Focus on eating fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds, and olive oil. Limit red meat, full-fat dairy, butter, and sugary desserts.
Add one new Mediterranean food each week to expand your options. Try chickpeas, quinoa, artichokes, figs, apricots, etc.
Add healthy fats with each meal, like a drizzle of olive oil, a handful of nuts, or sliced olives.
If you like wine, consume in moderation and don't forget to drink plenty of water, too.
In order to maintain the diet long-term, you can incorporate the following helpful strategies, as well, so make your journey more seamless and effective.
The Mediterranean diet avoids or limits some foods that are generally considered unhealthy. Here are some of the foods to avoid:
Related: Whole30 Diet vs. Paleo Diet: Key Differences & Similarities
Here is a simple example of a Mediterranean Diet Meal Plan:
|Breakfast||Greek yogurt, nuts and banana|
|Snack||Piece of fruit with a handful of almonds|
|Lunch||Grilled chicken breast with lemon & parsley; Couscous salad with veggies, cheese & olives|
|Snack||Hummus and veggie sticks|
|Dinner||Grilled fish fillet; Sautéed spinach with garlic; Farro salad with roasted peppers & basil|
|Dessert||Fresh berries or grapes & cheese|
Here are some of the pros and cons of a Mediterranean diet:
Related: Mediterranean Diet vs Paleo: Which One Is Right for You?
A: Ensure that you have some veggies, whole grains, and legumes at hand. Use olive oil for marinating, dressing, or making sauces. Opt for chicken, fish or another type of seafood to add to your dish, as they contain healthy proteins.
A: Incorporate a variety of whole grains, like brown bread, barley, and farro, along with lot of veggies, nuts, and seeds into your Mediterranean breakfast. Yogurt and fruits for some extra flavor is also a great breakfast option!
Related: What Foods Are Not Allowed in the Mediterranean Diet?
The Mediterranean diet is growing in popularit, and for a good reason. It is one of the healthiest diets available, and it incorporates delicious healthy dishes. The best thing about the diet is that it incorporates olive oil, veggies, fruits, and unprocessed foods, which are beneficial to your health. Sticking to a healthy diet is great for your well-being, as it promotes longevity.