What is a Mediterranean diet?
Mediterranean diet is the diet followed by the people in the Mediterranean region . The diet contains various amounts of fruits and vegetables along with healthy oils and fats . This diet is associated with high intake of the fat diet (monounsaturated fats like olive oil) so this is no ideal for people who want to limit the fat intake.(source)
The Mediterranean diet consists:
1. Healthy Grains:
The healthy grains are packed with fibers, antioxidants and anti inflammatory properties. These healthy grains include quinoa, amaranth, farro, buckwheat.
The vegetables that are rich in nutrients and vitamins. These are either consumed in form of raw, grilled, steamed, sautéed, roasted, or pickled, vegetables and they are kept for every meal in the plate.
The protein is achieved from both veggies like beans, legumes, nuts, and seeds—these foods contain unsaturated fats, fiber, and can add instant texture and flavor to salads or stand alone as satisfying snacks and meat like the sea food packed with omega fatty acids -salmon, arctic char, mackerel, anchovies, and oysters.
Fruits are one of the important ingredients in this diet. the healthy fruits include olives, avocados, grapes, and figs,. These fruits are rich of nutrients, fiber and anti oxidants.
5. Healthy Fats:
Oils included in the diet are the healthy fats like olive oil.this oil is used in cooking, baking, sauces, vinaigrettes, and more. Other oil rich foods can be used like canola, peanut, and safflower.
6. Red Wine:
There are various health benefits like,
- It increases bone density. …
- It reduces the risk of stroke. …
- It reduces the risk of heart disease. …
- It can lower cholesterol. …
- It reduces the risk of Type 2 Diabetes
- Contains antioxidants. …
- It boosts the immune system. …
Foods to be avoided in Mediterranean diet:
- Refined grains, such as white bread, white pasta, and pizza dough containing white flour
- Deli meats, hot dogs, and other processed meats
- Processed or packaged foods
- Foods with added sugars, such as pastries, sodas, and candies
- Refined oils, which include canola oil and soybean oil
7-day meal plan
Here is an example of a 7-day Mediterranean diet meal plan:
- 1 cup of Greek yogurt with cinnamon and honey on top
- mix in a chopped apple and shredded almonds
- 1 cup of quinoa with bell peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, and olives
- roasted garbanzo beans with oregano and thyme
- top with feta cheese crumbles or avocado (optional)
- 2 cups of steamed kale with tomato, cucumber, olives, lemon juice, and Parmesan cheese
- a portion of grilled sardines with a slice of lemon
- 1 cup of whole-grain oats with cinnamon, dates, and honey
- top with low-sugar fruits, such as raspberries
- 1 oz of shredded almonds (optional)
- boiled white beans with spices, such as laurel, garlic, and cumin
- 1 cup of arugula with an olive oil dressing and toppings of tomato, cucumber, and feta cheese
- one-half of a cup of whole-grain pasta with tomato sauce, olive oil, and grilled vegetables
- 1 tablespoon of Parmesan cheese
- two slices of whole-grain toast with soft cheese, such as ricotta, queso fresco, or goat cheese
- add chopped blueberries or figs for sweetness
- 2 cups of mixed greens with tomato and cucumber
- a small portion of roasted chicken with a sprinkling of olive oil and lemon juice
- oven-roasted vegetables, such as:
- sweet potato
- toss in olive oil and heavy herbs before roasting
- 1 cup of whole-grain couscous
- 1 cup of Greek yogurt
- half a cup of fruits, such as blueberries, raspberries, or chopped nectarines
For additional calories, add 1–2 oz of almonds or walnuts.
- whole-grain sandwich with grilled vegetables, such as eggplant, zucchini, bell pepper, and onion
To increase the calorie content, spread hummus or avocado on the bread before adding the fillings.
- one portion of baked cod or salmon with garlic and black pepper to add flavor
- one roasted potato with olive oil and chives
- one pan-fried egg
- whole-wheat toast
- grilled tomatoes
For additional calories, add another egg or some sliced avocado to the toast.
- 2 cups of mixed salad greens with cherry tomatoes and olives on top and a dressing of olive oil and vinegar
- whole-grain pita bread
- 2 ounces (oz) of hummus
- whole-grain pizza with tomato sauce, grilled vegetables, and low-fat cheese as toppings
For added calories, add some shredded chicken, ham, tuna, or pine nuts to the pizza.
- two-egg scramble with bell peppers, onions, and tomatoes
- top with 1 oz of queso fresco or one-quarter of an avocado
- roasted anchovies in olive oil on whole-grain toast with a sprinkling of lemon juice
- a warm salad comprising 2 cups of steamed kale and tomatoes
- 2 cups of steamed spinach with a sprinkling of lemon juice and herbs
- one boiled artichoke with olive oil, garlic powder, and salt
Add another artichoke for a hearty, filling meal.
- whole-grain oats with cinnamon, dates, and maple syrup
- top with low-sugar fruits, such as raspberries or blackberries
- stewed zucchini, yellow squash, onion, and potato in a tomato and herb sauce
- 2 cups of greens, such as arugula or spinach, with tomato, olives, and olive oil
- a small portion of white fish
- leftover vegetable stew from lunch (source)
Mediterranean diet is one of the popular diet used world wide. This diet is known for the health benefits like the decreasing cardiovascular risk, diabetes mellitus, improves brain function, decrease weight ,improves the quality sleep,decreases bad cholesterol. Researches have proved that this diet is one of the best diet to take care of health and decrease the chances of health issues.