When five Harvard Medical studies declare the Mediterranean diet the best choice for weight loss, you know they're onto something. And even if you aren't looking to shed some pounds, this way of eating can also be beneficial for heart, eye, and brain function — and it's said to help you live longer! So, consider us sold.
The best part about the Mediterranean diet is that it's much easier to transition into from your current diet compared to keto or intermittent fasting. Eating a diet heavy in low-starch vegetables, fruits, grains, olive oil, and beans and low in meat, dairy, and eggs sounds totally doable right? Plus, wine is allowed, so come on.
To help you get started, we spoke with registered dietitian Lisa Mastela, MPH, who says that each of your meals should follow this formula: half-veggies/fruit, one-fourth whole grain, and one-fourth fish, lean protein, or vegetarian protein with a small amount of healthy fat. Follow her meal plan ideas below and feel free to create unique combinations by mixing and matching categories.
- Steel-cut oats (whole grain and protein) with berries (fruit) and walnuts (healthy fat).
- Greek yogurt (protein) with almonds (healthy fat) and strawberries (fruit) with a side of whole wheat toast (whole grain).
- Eggs (protein) with spinach, mushrooms, onions, and tomatoes (veggies) and brown rice (whole grain).
- Fish (protein) with steamed broccoli (veggies) and wild rice (whole grain), drizzled with olive oil (healthy fat).
- Lentil veggie soup (protein and veggies) with a side salad of arugula, quinoa, and veggies (whole grain and veggies) tossed with olive oil and vinegar (healthy fat).
- Burrito bowl of black beans (protein and healthy fat), sweet potato, cabbage, carrots (veggies), and avocado (healthy fat) with pumpkin seeds (healthy fat) and brown rice (whole grain).
- Veggies or fruit
- Small amount of cheese (two to three times a week; not daily)
- Green tea
- Dark chocolate (in moderation)
As far as wine goes, you can enjoy a glass of vino but not every day. As with everything, moderation is key.