Sample Recipe courtesy of U.S. News
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What You’ll Eat
While there isn’t “a” Mediterranean diet, most versions share common understandings. According to Old ways, the nonprofit food think tank in Boston that helped develop a Mediterranean food pyramid, you’ll load up on fruits, veggies, whole grains, nuts and legumes; eat plenty of fish and seafood; get a little poultry, eggs, cheese, and yogurt; and mostly pick at sweets and red meat. And don’t forget a drizzle of olive oil and (if you want) a couple glugs of wine.
You’ve got lots of wiggle room in food prep. One night might be Spanish paella. The next might be a Greek gyro or an Italian-inspired pasta dish. How much and when you eat is also up to you.
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The cookbooks and sites below will give you a good start in adding basic Mediterranean recipes to your repertoire. If you find you tend to favor, for example, Spanish food, you can also search for country-specific resources.
Here’s a day of typical meals on a 2,000-calorie DASH diet at a 2,300 mg. sodium level. Substitutions for a 1,500 mg. sodium level are in parentheses.
¾ cup bran flakes cereal (¾ cup shredded wheat cereal) with 1 medium banana and 1 cup low-fat milk
1 slice whole-wheat bread with 1 tsp. (unsalted) margarine
1 cup orange juice
2 slices whole-wheat bread
¾ cup (unsalted) chicken salad
1 tbsp. Dijon (regular) mustard
½ cup fresh cucumber slices
½ cup tomato wedges
1 tbsp. sunflower seeds
1 tsp. low-calorie Italian dressing
½ cup fruit cocktail
3 oz. beef, eye of the round, with 2 tbsp. fat-free beef gravy
1 cup green beans, sautéed with ½ tsp. canola oil
1 small baked potato topped with 1 tbsp. fat-free sour cream, 1 tbsp. grated, reduced-fat natural (low-sodium) cheddar cheese and 1 tbsp. chopped scallions
1 small whole-wheat roll with 1 tsp. (unsalted) soft margarine
1 small apple
1 cup low-fat milk
1/3 cup almonds, unsalted
¼ cup raisins
½ cup fat-free, no-sugar-added fruit yogurt