All You Ever Wanted to Know About the Mediterranean Diet Meal Plan
The Mediterranean diet meal plan is basically a heart-healthy plan based on the traditional Mediterranean-style of cooking. From fruits, vegetables and dairy to fish, poultry and lamb, this diet meal plan offers a multitude of rich choices to the dieters, thus making the whole concept quite appealing.
By its origin, the Mediterranean diet is an umbrella term given to the healthy foods eaten by people living in regions surrounding the Mediterranean Sea.
Owing to the vast range of healthy ingredients being used, the Mediterranean diet meal plan promises a plethora of advantages and health benefits to its users. Reduction in the level of the low-density lipoprotein (LDL), also known as the ‘bad’ cholesterol, lowering the risk of heart disease and high blood pressure are just some of the top advantages of using the Mediterranean diet meal plan.
Features of the Mediterranean Diet Meal Plan
There are a vast range of recipes and combinations you can choose from the Mediterranean diet. However, any Mediterranean diet meal plan will be based on the same principles of Mediterranean-style cooking. Here, let’s look at some of the key principles of this style of cooking.
- Most of the cooking is done in olive oil and minimal use of highly saturated fats like butter is done.
- The overall proportion of food groups like vegetables, legumes, fruits, nuts, eggs, cheese and whole grain cereals is very high.
- The main source of animal protein in a Mediterranean diet meal plan is fish and dairy, instead of beef and poultry.
- The style of cooking is simple and ingredients commonly available.
- Some Mediterranean recipes actually advise against using fat-free recipes since fat is believed to helpful in digesting vegetables.
The Mediterranean Diet Meal Plan – An Outline
In this section, we will give you a brief outline of what all you can have as a part of a Mediterranean Diet Meal Plan. Based on these ideas, you can easily chalk out your diet plan in accordance with your preferences and tastes.
1) Mediterranean Diet Meal Plan – Breakfast Ideas
Though the simplest part of a Mediterranean diet meal plan, the breakfast can be made rich and filling using a judicious choice of its ingredients and cooking style.
To begin with, you can mix some fresh berries, unsweetened granola and honey with some plain, whole fat yoghurt for a heart bowl of breakfast. Eggs are another popular option in a Mediterranean diet meal plan. You can make a dish of scrambled eggs with add-ons like sun-dried tomatoes, peppers, onions, olives and feta cheese.
2) Mediterranean Diet Meal Plan – Lunch Ideas
Salads are considered to be the most popular choice in this type of a meal plan. To make salads of your choice, just add a lot of fresh greens to ingredients such as grilled chicken, vegetables, nuts, crumbled cheese and the like.
You can even add a few small chunks of high-quality cheese or dark, bittersweet chocolate for that extra energy and to avoid any late-afternoon hunger pangs when on a Mediterranean diet meal plan.
3) Mediterranean Diet Meal Plan – Dinner Ideas
Grilled food makes for the best dinner choice in this meal plan. You can grill a vast range of foods of your choice and that too in a very short span of time. These can include vegetables which you can grill or broil in salt, pepper and olive oil. For a change of taste, you can even broil some salmon, chicken or pork.
When it comes to dinner, pasta is also another favorite in the Mediterranean style cooking. Using varied ingredients like olive oil, grate cheese, vegetables, chicken, fish, herbs and spices, you can easily dish out a vast range of dinner recipes for your Mediterranean diet meal plan.
5 THINGS YOU MUST DO
To ensure success in your fitness goals through the Mediterranean diet meal plan, just make sure you do the following:
- Have at least 7 to 10 servings of fruits and vegetables in a day.
- Choose to have whole grain instead of refined grain.
- Have fish and poultry at least twice a week.
- Have red meat in moderation, only few times a month.
- Have red wine in moderation, preferably with your dinner.
A Mediterranean diet meal plan is one of the most natural ways to maintain an optimal level of overall health and fitness.