The Mediterranean diet puts a higher focus on plant foods than many other diets. It is not uncommon for vegetables, whole grains, and legumes to make up all or most of a meal.
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.
Water and sparkling water are common drink choices, as well as moderate amounts of red wine.
People on a Mediterranean diet avoid the following foods:
• refined grains, such as white bread, white pasta, and pizza dough containing white flour
• refined oils, which include canola oil and soybean oil
• foods with added sugars, such as pastries, sodas, and candies
• deli meats, hot dogs, and other processed meats
• processed or packaged foods
One breakfast option is greek yogurt with blueberries and walnuts.
• 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.
• 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
• 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-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.
• 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
• 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:
o sweet potato
• toss in olive oil and heavy herbs before roasting
• 1 cup of whole-grain couscous
• 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
Avocado on toast is a healthful snack for people on a Mediterranean diet.
There are many snack options available as part of the Mediterranean diet.
Suitable snacks include:
• a small serving of nuts
• whole fruits, such as oranges, plums, and grapes
• dried fruits, including apricots and figs
• a small serving of yogurt
• hummus with celery, carrots, or other vegetables
• avocado on whole-grain toast
By Jon Johnson
Reviewed by Katherine Marengo LDN, RD