Mediterranean Diet: A Meal Plan and Beginner’s Guide

The Mediterranean diet is based upon the traditional food that people ate in Italy and Greece in 1960.

Researchers found that these people had an exceptionally high level of health compared to Americans, and a lower risk of developing many lifestyle diseases.

Numerous studies have shown that the Mediterranean diet is effective in weight loss, as well as helping to prevent strokes, heart attacks, and type 2 diabetes.

There is no right or wrong way to follow the Mediterranean diet. This is because there are many countries that surround the Mediterranean Sea and different people who may have had different food experiences.

This article explains the healthy eating habits that are recommended by studies.

This is a guideline only, and not a set of rules. You can modify the plan to suit your needs and preferences.

BASICS

  • Eat: Vegetables, fruits Nuts, seeds, legumes and potatoes; whole grains; breads, breads, herbs, spices; fish, seafood, extra virgin olive oils.
  • Moderation is key: Poultry, eggs, Cheese, yogurt.
  • Only eat rarely: Red meat.
  • Do not eat: Sugar-sweetened beverages, Sugars added, processed meats, refined grains, and refined oils, as well as other highly processed foods.

AVOID THESE UNHEALTHY FOODS

You should avoid these unhealthy foods and ingredients:

  • Sugar added: You can also find soda, candies and ice cream.
  • Refined grains: White bread, pasta with refined wheat, etc.
  • Trans fats: Found in margarine Various processed foods
  • Oils that have been refined: Soybean oil, Canola oil, cottonseed oil, and other.
  • Meat from processing: Processed sausages, hot dogs, etc.
  • High-processed food: Any product that is labeled “low-fat” or “diet” (or looks like it was made in a factory).
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You must read food labels carefully if you want to avoid these unhealthy ingredients.

FOODS TO EAT

A Mediterranean lifestyle involves daily physical activity, enjoying good food and sharing it with others.

These healthy, unprocessed Mediterranean food should be the basis of your diet:

  • Vegetables: Tomatoes, broccoli, Kale, spinach, onions, etc.
  • Fruits: Apples, bananas, oranges, pears, strawberries, etc.
  • Nuts and seeds: Almonds, walnuts
  • Legumes: Beans and legumes, lentils
  • Tubers Potatoes, sweet potatoes, turnips, yams, etc.
  • Whole grains: Whole oats and brown rice
  • Seafood and fish: Salmon, sardines, trout etc.
  • Poultry: Chicken, duck, turkey, etc.
  • Eggs: Qual, chicken and duck eggs.
  • Dairy: Cheese, yogurt, Greek yogurt, etc.
  • Spices and herbs: Garlic, basil, mint, rosemary, sage, nutmeg, cinnamon, pepper, etc.
  • Healthy Fats: Extra virgin olive oil, olives, avocado and avocado oil

Whole, single-ingredient meals are the best for your health.

On a Mediterranean diet, water should be your main beverage. The diet includes moderate amounts red wine — approximately 1 glass per day.

This is an option, but it’s not mandatory. Anyone with alcoholism should avoid wine.

You can also enjoy tea and coffee, but avoid sugar-sweetened drinks and juices that are high in sugar.

A Mediterranean Sample Menu For One Week

HEALTHY MEDITERRANEAN SNACKS

There is no need to eat more that 3 meals per day.

There are many healthy snacks that you can choose from if your meal is over.

  • A few nuts.
  • A piece of fruit.
  • Baby carrots and carrots
  • Some berries or grapes.
  • Remaining left-overs from the previous night.
  • Greek yogurt.
  • Almond butter on apple slices
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How To Follow The Diet At Restaurants

It is easy to make Mediterranean-friendly restaurant meals.

  • You can choose fish or seafood for your main meal.
  • Ask them to fry your food with extra virgin olive oil.
  • Consume whole-grain bread only, and olive oil instead.

A Simple Shopping List For The Diet

It’s always a good idea for customers to shop around the perimeter of the store. This is usually the place where you will find whole foods.

Always choose the least processed option. Organic is the best option, but only if it’s affordable.

  • Vegetables: Carrots, onions, broccoli, spinach, kale, garlic, etc.
  • Fruits: Apples, bananas, oranges, grapes, etc.
  • Berries: Strawberries, blueberries, etc.
  • Frozen veggies: Mix and match healthy vegetables
  • Grains: Whole-grain bread, whole grain pasta, etc.
  • Legumes: Lentils, pulses, beans, etc.
  • Nuts: Almonds and walnuts, cashews etc.
  • Seeds: Sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, etc.
  • Condiments: Sea salt and pepper turmeric, cinnamon, etc.
  • Fish: Salmon, sardines, mackerel, trout.

It is best to get rid of all unhealthy temptations in your home. This includes sodas, ice creams, candy, pastries and white bread.

Healthy food is easy to find.

CONCLUSION

Although there is no one Mediterranean diet, it is rich in plant foods and lower in animal food. The focus is on seafood and fish.

There is a lot of information available online about the Mediterranean diet, as well as many books written about it.

You can search for Mediterranean recipes on Google to find tons of delicious ideas.

The Mediterranean diet is extremely healthy and filling. You will not be disappointed.

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