Mediterranean Diet – A Meal Plan
- March 09, 2021
What Is the Mediterranean Diet?
As per the American Heart Association, a Mediterranean-style diet mainly consists of
- Plenty of fruits, vegetables, grains, potatoes, beans, nuts and seeds
- Olive oil is a principal monounsaturated fat source used in Mediterranean diet.
- Dairy products, fish and poultry in low to moderate quantities
- Red meat in very low amounts
- Eggs (consumed zero to four times per week)
- Wine (consumed in low to moderate quantities)
Benefits of a Mediterranean Diet
Reports of 12 large studies conducted between 1966 and 2008, including more than 1.5 million subjects, were published in the British Journal of Nutrition in the year 2009. The authors concluded that the Mediterranean diet produces significant health benefits that includes overall reduced mortality , and reduced risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Breakfast on a Mediterranean Diet
Try and have breakfast with your family, if you’re on the same schedule and try to avoid watching television while you eat.
On day 1, include a cup of plain low-fat Greek yogurt for breakfast, topped with 1/2 cup of blueberries and few chopped walnuts. The yogurt provides you calcium and substantial protein, while the berries are loaded with antioxidants that protect you against cellular damage, and the nuts supply heart-healthy omega-3 fats. On day 4 have yogurt but also try including pomegranate seeds and chopped pistachios or sliced oranges and chopped almonds.
On day 2, have a cup of oatmeal with an ounce of chopped walnuts and 1/2 cup of sliced apples for a breakfast which are high in fiber and protein; add a teaspoon of cinnamon and maple syrup on it. Repeat this breakfast again on day 5, but try different toppings like 1/2 cup of strawberries with thinly sliced almonds. If you prefer milk with your oatmeal, go for unsweetened almond or soy.
Eggs are to be included for days 3 and 6. Consume a frittata made with two eggs, red bell pepper, scallion and 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese for day 3. On the sixth day, have eggs, break an egg into half an avocado, garnish with a little Romano cheese and bake. This preparation is ready within few minutes, and it provides a heart-healthy monounsaturated fats of avocado.
Day 7 breakfast constituents of two slices of whole-grain toast with 2 tablespoons of almond butter have a half a grapefruit or a sliced pear with it.
Lunch on a Mediterranean Diet
On day 1, lunch includes 3 cups of spinach topped with 3 ounces of salmon or sardine. Also, include some chopped veggies on your salad, like tomato, broccoli and bell pepper for fiber and vitamin C. Consume a salad again on day 5, but this time include romaine lettuce, and substitute cannellini beans for your protein and choose cucumber, carrots and asparagus tips as veggies. Go for olive oil and red wine or balsamic vinegar for your dressing.
Day 2’s lunch consists of hummus with sliced veggies of your choice; celery, carrots and bell pepper are good options. Make a use for whole-wheat pita for dipping, too, and complete the meal with an orange or kiwifruit. The next day, have a bowl of lentil soup with whole-grain crackers, and add crunchy pomegranate seeds and a dollop of plain yogurt on top of the bowl. Repeat this soup again on day 4, or try a different soup like minestrone sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.
On days 5, 6 and 7, your lunch consists of half an avocado filled with tuna salad; a grilled portobello mushroom topped with lettuce and tomato; and a broiled turkey burger served with a side soup or salad or baked sweet potato fries. If you do not eat non-vegetarian food, substitute a bean burger for the turkey.
Dinner on a Mediterranean Diet
You can include poultry or red meat for two dinners a week instead of fish. Enjoy your dinner with family or friends, whenever possible, and listen to music instead of watching TV. Drink a glass of red wine with your meal; a moderate intake provides you polyphenols which are natural compounds found in grapes –that are known to protect you from heart disease, cognitive problems and even cancer.
Dinner options include fish like grilled salmon or pan-seared trout, seasoned with lemon and dill; chicken baked with a little olive oil and rosemary; grilled lamb chops with mint; mussels cooked in a tomato, garlic and wine broth; chili made with ground turkey, kidney beans and cayenne etc.
A half cup of quinoa, brown rice, whole-wheat pasta or couscous can also be included as side dish; add some olive oil and black pepper to it.
Snacks and Dessert on a Mediterranean Diet
For snacks you can have an ounce of nuts or dried apricots, a cup of low-fat cottage cheese sprinkled with black pepper and a dash of salt or an ounce of herbed goat cheese with a handful of whole-grain crackers. If you feeling like eating a dessert, have a piece of fruit or 1/2 cup of fresh-fruit sorbet.
Have this diet for at least four weeks and ensure to have 30 minutes of physical activity almost every day.