The Mediterranean diet is a way of eating that emphasizes fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains, and it includes less ultra-processed foods and meat than a typical Western diet.
In this article, we explain what the Mediterranean diet is and provide a 7-day meal plan for people to follow.
What is a Mediterranean diet?
Essentially, following a Mediterranean diet means eating in the way that the people in the Mediterranean region traditionally ate.
A Mediterranean-style eating pattern prioritizes the following foods:
- A variety of fruits and vegetables
- whole grains
- healthy fats like olive oil and nuts
- moderate amounts of seafood
- low amounts of dairy and red meat
- red wine in moderation
Of course, not everyone in the Mediterranean region eats in the same way, so the Mediterranean dietary pattern is meant to be used as a loose guide for a healthful diet that prioritizes plant-based foods.
The Mediterranean diet prioritizes healthy sources of fat Trusted Source like olive oil, nuts, seeds, and fatty fish.
Building a meal plan
The Mediterranean diet puts a higher focus on plant foods than many other diets. Foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes are main ingredients in meals and snacks.
People following the diet typically cook these foods using healthful fats, such as olive oil, and add plenty of flavorful spices.
Meals may include small portions of fish, meat, or eggs.
Moderate amounts of red wine can be consumed on a Mediterranean style diet, but water and other unsweetened, zero calorie beverages like sparkling water should be used to stay hydrated throughout the day.
When following any healthy dietary pattern, including the Mediterranean diet, it’s best to reduce your consumption of the following foods:
- refined grains, such as white bread, white pasta, and pizza dough containing white flour
- trans fats which can be found in margarine and other processed foods
- foods with added sugars, such as pastries, sodas, and candies
- deli meats, hot dogs, and other processed meats
- ultra-processed foods like fast food
7-day mediterranean diet plan
Here is an example of a 7-day Mediterranean diet meal plan:
- Vegetable and egg frittata served with sliced avocado on top of whole grain toast
- For additional calories, add another egg to the toast.
- A large green salad topped with a baked salmon fillet, red onion, feta cheese, quinoa, and fresh tomatoes
- Whole-grain pita bread
- 2 ounces (oz) of hummus
- Spicy lentil soup with spinach
- Greek yogurt parfait made with walnuts, fresh berries, and chia seeds
- For additional calories, add 1–2 oz of almonds.
- Greek chicken grain bowls with olives, cucumbers, and red onions
- To increase the calorie content, add hummus or avocado.
baked cod served with garlic roasted potatoes and asparagus
- Steel cut or rolled oats topped with fresh fruit, sliced almonds or almond butter, and a drizzle of honey.
- Mediterranean Chickpea and Farro Salad
- Mediterranean shrimp served over whole-wheat pasta
- Shakshuka: dish of eggs poached in a sauce of tomatoes, olive oil, peppers, onion and garlic, commonly spiced with cumin, paprika and cayenne pepper
- A large green salad topped with fresh vegetables, lentils, sunflower seeds, and grilled shrimp
- Roasted chicken with roasted root vegetables and Brussels sprouts
- Add an artichoke for a hearty, filling meal.
- Sweet potato breakfast hash topped with a poached egg
- Lentil and tuna salad
- Mediterranean Pasta
- Chia pudding topped with fresh berries and almond butter
- Mediterranean White Bean Soup and a Greek Salad
- Baked fish with garlic and basil served with a caprese quinoa salad
- Overnight oats made with nut butter and berries
- Mediterranean Buddha bowl
- Balsamic roasted chicken and vegetables
We wish you a great success.
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