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7 Simple Steps to Follow the Mediterranean Diet

Eating like those who live in the Mediterranean region has been shown to promote health and decrease risk of many chronic diseases. Following a traditional Mediterranean-style eating pattern has been shown to decrease some forms of cancer, protect against cognitive decline, improve eye health, decrease the risk of type 2 diabetes, help manage blood pressure, reduce cardiovascular disease, and is more effective than a low-fat diet for weight loss. Eating the Mediterranean way is not only healthy, it is delicious and satisfying. Foods that you once thought of as too high in fat or unhealthy, including nuts, olive oil, olives, and whole grains, become an everyday part of your diet. The following simple steps will help you eat the Med Way every day.

7 Simple Steps to Eating the Med Way

Mediterranean diet

1. Change Your Protein

Replace some of the meat in your dish with plant proteins such as beans, nuts, and seeds often.

Eat fish and seafood at least two to three times per week. Include fatty fish, such as mackerel or salmon at least once a week. Eat fried fish only occasionally.

Choose white-meat poultry such as turkey or chicken breast.

Limit red meat and/or choose lean red meat.

Greatly limit or eliminate processed meats.

Mediterranean diet

2. Swap Your Fats

Choose olive oil.

Replace solid fats such as butter and margarine with olive oil or canola oil.

Use olive oil for cooking, in dressings, and marinades.

Aim to consume at least four tablespoons of olive oil a day, while keeping within your calorie budget.

mediterranean diet

3. Eat More Vegetables

Get at least three servings (three cups) of vegetables per day.

Choose a variety of colors.

Eat more dark green leafy vegetables such as collards, kale, spinach, chard, and turnip greens.

mediterranean diet

4. Eat More Fruit

Get at least two servings (two cups) of fruits per day.

Choose a variety of colors.

Include berries often.

med diet

5. Snack on Nuts and Seeds

Choose at least three ounces (three small handfuls) of nuts and seeds per week, while keeping within your calorie budget.

Avoid candied, honey-roasted, and heavily salted nuts and seeds.

mediterranean diet

6. Make Your Grains Whole

Eat grains as grains

Choose whole grains such as oatmeal, quinoa, brown rice, and popcorn.

Look for “whole” in the first ingredient on the ingredient list (e.g., “whole wheat”) when choosing bread, pasta, and other grain-based foods.

mediterranean diet recipes

7. Rethink Your Sweets

Limit your sugar intake

Choose no more than three servings per week of high-sugar foods and drinks such as sugar-sweetened snacks, candies, desserts, or beverages.

 

For more information about eating the Med Way, visit MedInsteadofMeds.com and follow us on social media using #MedMonth.

 

You might also like:

Top 10 Vegetarian Sources of Protein

Cooking with Olive Oil – Safe or Dangerous?

May is #MedMonth – Benefits of the Med Diet

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17 comments on “7 Simple Steps to Follow the Mediterranean Diet

    • Madi Johnson on

      Hi Patricia, thank you for your interest in our recipes! I have added you to our list. For additional Mediterranean recipes, please visit MedInsteadofMeds.com. πŸ™‚

      Reply
    • Madi Johnson on

      Thank you Jean! For more articles on the Mediterranean Diet, you can type “Med” into the search bar on the right of the screen as well as visit MedInsteadofMeds.com. πŸ™‚

      Reply
  1. DOROTHY G HERRON on

    Although I’m sure I’m on your website since I’ve participated in several webinar series, I don’t receive recipes, and would like to be registered to do so. Thank you.

    Reply
    • Madi Johnson on

      Hi Dorothy, thank you for your interest in our recipes! I have added you to the blog email list as well, which will contain our new recipes as well. For all of our current recipes, please click Tools> Recipes or visit MedInsteadofMeds.com. πŸ™‚

      Reply
    • Madi Johnson, MA on

      Hi Penny, we would be happy to keep you updated with our recent blogs and recipes! I have added you to our list and you should now begin to receive the emails when new recipes and blogs are posted. πŸ™‚

      Reply
    • Madi Johnson, MA on

      Hi Ines, we are happy to add you! You should begin to receive emails soon. Thank you! πŸ™‚

      Reply
  2. Tania Rogers on

    I’m looking for Low carb, low calories, low sugar, low saturated fat recipes as I have cholesterol and I’m on 1200 calories per day
    Thank you

    Reply
    • Madi Johnson on

      Hi Tania, we have many healthy recipes under the “Tools” and then “Recipes” tab at the top of this page. You can also check out our sister site, MedInsteadofMeds.com for lots of great recipes! πŸ™‚

      Reply
  3. Mellissa Ellis on

    I have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes about six months ago. I am also a picky eater when it comes to vegies. Any suggestions or ideas for me as in recipes and id this would be a good idea for me to try. I also have high cholesterol.

    Thank you,

    Mellissa

    Reply
  4. Sophia Joseph on

    The Mediterranean Nutritionist advises that you completely replace processed sugar with natural alternatives such as honey. You can also use extracts from fresh berries to sweeten your shakes and juices.

    Reply
    • Carolyn Dunn, PhD, RDN, LDN on

      Hi Sophia -thanks for your post. Actually, you should limit added-sugar of all types. Honey is not really any better than table sugar – your body does not see much difference in the two. This holds true for agave, brown sugar, coconut sugar, etc. Using whole fruit to sweeten your shakes is the way to go. Good luck!

      Reply

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