How to Eat Mediterranean-Style

Follow these simple guidelines to make your diet more Mediterranean.

October 11, 2017
Mediterranean food

Adapted from Prevention Mediterranean Table: 100 Vibrant Recipes to Savor and Share for Lifelong Health 

It’s easy—and truly delicious. Follow these simple guidelines to make your diet more Mediterranean and reap the incredible health benefits that come with it.

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Pick more plants

Aim to eat 7 to 10 servings of fruits and vegetables daily, and enjoy more meatless meals featuring plant-based proteins, such as beans and legumes.

Do it: Adopt a Meatless Monday tradition! Then, make these 25 Vegetarian Recipes Even Meat Eaters Will Eat or 13 Weeknight Vegetarian Dinners You Can Make in Under an Hour.  

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Have whole grains

Enjoy whole wheat bread and pasta instead of white, and eat more whole grains, like whole wheat, oats/oatmeal, rye, barley, corn, popcorn, brown rice, wild rice, buckwheat, triticale, bulgur wheat, millet, and quinoa.

Do it: There are countless ways you can add more whole grains into your diet. Start with 25 Quick & Easy Recipes For Weeknight Pasta Dinners and then rotate in these 17 Extra-Satisfying Rice Recipes for Any Meal.

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Snack on nuts and seeds

Reach for almonds, walnuts, pistachios, or pumpkin seeds instead of processed snacks. Don’t forget natural nut and seed butters, like peanut butter and tahini!

Do it: You don't need an expensive budget to enjoy these snacks. Better yet, choose these 5 Nut Butters You Should DIY Instead of Buy and save yourself even more cash. 

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Use olive oil instead of butter

Make it your go-to fat for cooking, dressings, and sauces. Instead of spreading butter on your bread, dip it in olive oil.

Do it: Choose the best fats for your kitchen and learn about the best ones in our Guide to Healthy Cooking Oils

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5. Choose fish over meat

Enjoy fish (especially fatty fish like salmon, tuna, trout, mackerel, and herring) at least twice a week. Limit red meat to a few times a month, and save processed meats, like sausage or bacon, for special occasions.

Do it: Skip the meats. These 17 Healthy & Easy Fish Dinner Recipes will feed the whole family. 

 
 
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6. Add herbs and spices

Instead of adding extra salt and sugar to your meal, use herbs and spices to add flavor to dishes.

Do it: Science agrees, there are 7 Herbs & Spices Everyone Needs to Eat, so it's time to add them to your diet. 

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7. Buy mostly low-fat dairy

Enjoy fat-free or 1% milk and low-fat plain yogurt. Enjoy small portions of full-fat cheeses in moderation—they’re more flavorful than their low-fat counterparts, so a little bit will go a long way.

Do it: Not all cheese is created equal. These 14 Healthiest Cheese Varieties to Eat should be your go-to favorites. 

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8. Enjoy a glass of wine

Sip a small glass of vino with your dinner, if you’d like. (If you don’t drink, you don’t have to start. You’ll still enjoy the benefits of the Mediterranean diet.)

More: The Wine-Gut Connection You Need to Know About

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