Mediterranean Diet 101: A Meal Plan and Beginner’s Guide

Mediterranean Diet 101: A Meal Plan and Beginner’s Guide

The Mediterranean diet is based on the conventional foods that people used to eat in countries such as Italy and Greece ago in 1960.

Researchers noted that these individuals were exceptionally healthy in comparison to Americans and had a low risk of many lifestyle diseases.

Numerous research has now shown that the Mediterranean diet can lead to weight loss and help prevent heart attacks, strokes, type two diabetes and premature death.

There’s nobody right way to follow the Mediterranean diet since there are lots of countries around the Mediterranean sea along with individuals in different regions may have eaten distinct foods.

This report explains the dietary plan typically prescribed in studies that indicate it is a healthy way of eating.

Consider all this as an overall principle, not something written in stone. The plan can be adjusted to your individual needs and preferences.

Mediterranean diet could help 'healthy aging,' study suggests - Chicago Sun-Times

The Basics

  • Eat: berries, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes, potatoes, whole grains, bread, spices, herbs, fish, seafood and extra virgin olive oil.
  • Eat-in moderation: Poultry, eggs, yogurt and cheese.
  • Eat only rarely: Red meat.
  • Don’t eat: Sugar-sweetened drinks, added sugars, processed meat, refined grains, refined oils and other highly processed foods.

Avoid These Unhealthy Foods

You should avoid these unhealthy foods and components:

  • Added sugar: Soda, candies, ice cream, table sugar and several more.
  • Refined grains: White bread, pasta made with processed wheat, etc..
  • Trans fats: Found in margarine and various processed foods.
  • Refined oils: Soybean oil, jojoba oil, cottonseed oil and others.
  • Processed beef: Processed sausages, hot dogs, etc..
  • Highly processed foods: Anything labeled “low-carb” or “diet” or that appears like it had been created at a factory.

You have to read food labels carefully if you want to prevent these unhealthy ingredients.

Foods to Eat

What foods belong to the Mediterranean diet is controversial, partly because there is this variation between different nations.

The diet analyzed by the majority of studies is high in healthy plant foods and comparatively low in animal foods.

However, eating fish and fish is recommended at least twice a week.

The Mediterranean lifestyle also involves routine physical activity, sharing meals with other people and enjoying life.

You need to base your diet on these wholesome, unprocessed foods that are Mediterranean:

  • Vegetables: Tomatoes, broccoli, kale, spinach, onions, cauliflower, carrots, Brussels sprouts, cucumbers, etc..
  • Fruits: Apples, bananas, oranges, pears, strawberries, grapes, dates, figs, melons, peaches, etc..
  • Nuts and seeds: Almonds, walnuts, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, cashews, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, etc..
  • Legumes: Beans, peas, lentils, pulses, peanuts, chickpeas, etc..
  • Tubers: Potatoes, sweet potatoes, turnips, yams, etc..
  • Whole grains: Whole oats, brown rice, rye, barley, corn, buckwheat, whole wheat, whole-grain pasta and bread.
  • Fish and seafood: Salmon, sardines, trout, tuna, mackerel, shrimp, oysters, clams, crab, mussels, etc..
  • Poultry: Chicken, poultry, fish, etc..
  • Eggs: Chicken, quail and duck eggs.
  • Dairy: Cheese, yogurt, Greek yogurt, etc..
  • Herbs and Spices: Garlic, basil, mint, rosemary, sage, nutmeg, cinnamon, pepper, etc..
  • Healthy Fats: Extra virgin olive oil, jojoba, avocados and avocado oil.

Whole, single-ingredient foods are the key to good health.

Things to Drink

Water ought to be your go-to beverage on a Mediterranean diet.

This diet also includes moderate levels of red wine — approximately 1 glass every day.

However, this is totally discretionary, and wine ought to be avoided by anyone with alcoholism or difficulties controlling their consumption.

Coffee and tea are also completely acceptable, but you need to avoid sugar-sweetened drinks and fruit juices, which are extremely high in sugar.

A Mediterranean Sample Menu for 1 Week

Below is a sample menu for a single week about the Mediterranean diet.

Don’t hesitate to correct the parts and food choices based on your own needs and tastes.


Breakfast: Greek yogurt with berries and oats.
Lunch: Whole-grain sandwich with veggies.
Dinner: A tuna salad, dressed in olive oil. A bit of fruit for dessert.


Breakfast: Oatmeal with raisins.
Lunch: Leftover tuna salad from the night before.
Dinner: Salad with tomatoes, olives and feta cheese.


Breakfast: Omelet with veggies, tomatoes and onions. A piece of fruit.
Lunch: Whole-grain sandwich, with cheese and fresh vegetables.
Dinner: Mediterranean lasagne.


Breakfast: Yogurt with chopped nuts and fruits.
Lunch: Leftover lasagne from the night before.
Dinner: Broiled salmon, served with brown rice and vegetables.


Breakfast: Eggs and veggies, fried in olive oil.
Lunch: Greek yogurt with strawberries, oats and nuts.
Dinner: Grilled lamb, with salad and baked potato.


Breakfast: Oatmeal with raisins, nuts and an apple.
Lunch: Whole-grain sandwich with veggies.
Dinner: Mediterranean pizza made with whole wheat, topped with cheese, vegetables and olives.


Breakfast: Omelet with veggies and olives.
Lunch: Leftover pizza from the night before.
Dinner: Grilled chicken, with veggies and potato. Fruit for dessert.

There is usually no need to count calories or monitor macronutrients (protein, fat and carbohydrates ) on the Mediterranean diet.

Healthy Mediterranean Snacks

You do not have to eat more than 3 meals per day.

But if you become hungry between meals, there are plenty of healthy snack options:

  • A handful nuts.
  • A piece of fruit.
  • Carrots or baby carrots.
  • Some berries or grapes.
  • Leftovers from the night before.
  • Greek yogurt.
  • Apple pieces with almond butter.

How To Adhere to the Diet at Restaurants

It’s very straightforward to create most restaurant meals suitable for the Mediterranean diet.

  1. Choose fish or seafood as your main dish.
  2. Ask them to fry your food in extra virgin olive oil.
  3. Simply eat whole-grain bread, with olive oil instead of butter.

A Simple Shopping List For Your Diet

It is always a fantastic idea to shop on the perimeter of the shop. That’s usually where the entire foods are.

Always try to decide on the least-processed alternative. Organic is better, but only in case, you’re able to easily afford it.

  • Vegetables: Carrots, onions, broccoli, spinach, kale, garlic, etc..
  • Fruits: Apples, bananas, oranges, grapes, etc..
  • Berries: Strawberries, blueberries, etc..
  • Frozen veggies: Choose mixes with healthy vegetables.
  • Grains: Whole-grain bread, whole-grain pasta, etc..
  • Legumes: Lentils, pulses, beans, etc..
  • Nuts: Almonds, walnuts, cashews, etc..
  • Seeds: Sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, etc..
  • Condiments: Sea salt, pepper, turmeric, cinnamon, etc..
  • Fish: Salmon, sardines, mackerel, trout.
  • Shrimp and shellfish.
  • Potatoes and sweet potatoes.
  • Cheese.
  • Greek yogurt.
  • Chicken.
  • Pastured or omega-3 enriched eggs.
  • Olives.
  • Extra virgin olive oil.

It is best to clean all unhealthy temptations from your house, including sodas, ice cream, candy, pastries, white bread, crackers and processed foods.

If you merely have wholesome food in your house, you will eat wholesome food.

The Most Important Thing

Though there isn’t one defined Mediterranean diet, such a manner of eating is usually full of healthful plant foods and relatively lower in animal foods, with a focus on fish and fish.

You may find a whole world of information regarding the Mediterranean diet on the internet, and lots of fantastic books are written about it.

Try googling “Mediterranean recipes” and you’ll discover a ton of great tips for tasty meals.

In the conclusion of the afternoon, the Mediterranean diet is incredibly healthful and satisfying. You won’t be let down.