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Quick GuideHealthy Eating: 12 Reasons to Love the Mediterranean Diet
What is a meal plan for the Mediterranean diet?
The best part of the Mediterranean diet is that you have options. There is not one food that does everything. Instead, it's all of the foods, herbs, and spices that give you the health benefits. You don't have to consume it all at once or take any magic pill. You can make choices throughout your day in what you eat, how you season your foods, and how you prepare things. Everything that you do will count.
The Mediterranean food pyramid gives you a guideline for developing your own meal plan:
Your calorie needs will determine how much of each of these you will consume. On average, their intake is:
Daily intake is an average of the following:
- Fruits: 4 to 6 servings
- Vegetables: 2 to 3 servings
- Unrefined cereal, and cereal and bread products: all these are consumed daily
- Nonfat or low-fat dairy: 1 to 2 servings
- Olive oil: main added fat
- Wine: 1 to 2 glasses
- Garlic, onions, herbs, and spices: much use
Weekly intake is an average of the following:
- Fish: 4 or 5 servings
- Olives, pulses, and nuts: more than 4 servings
- Potatoes: 4 or 5 servings
- Cheese and yogurt: in moderation
- Eggs: 1 to 4 servings
- Sweets: 1 to 3 servings monthly
- Red meat and meat products: 4 to 5 servings
You can set your goals to slowly make these changes. Using garlic when you cook, changing over to a couple of fish-based meals per week, using legumes in your meals a couple of times a week, limiting processed foods, and adding capers to your salads, meats, and sauces are great ways to begin. This goes beyond any "diet" that you go on and then go off when you are done. It's about being aware of getting more nutrients from food and feeding your health.
Medically reviewed by a Board-Certified Family Practice Physician
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