Mediterranean diet – 24 hour meal plan

 

The Mediterranean diet can reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer, promoting longevity and improving gut health. Here’s your 24-hour sample diet plan.

Mediterranean diet 24-hour diet plan - IMAGE - Women's Health & Fitness

Why the Mediterranean diet?

Eating like you’re living on a Greek island or in a Spanish village can do more than give your taste buds a treat. Studies show that the Mediterranean diet (MD), which is high in olive oil, vegetables, leafy greens, tomatoes, seafood, nuts, fresh fruit, legumes, and wholegrain cereals, can have potent anti-inflammatory effects.

As a result, “The Mediterranean diet can reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer, promoting longevity and improving gut health,” says Antonia Thodis, a clinical and research dietitian currently studying the diet at La Trobe University.

“To maximise the anti-inflammatory benefits, replace two meat-based meals per week with two legume- or tofu-based dishes. Traditionally, in Mediterranean countries, red meat and chicken were eaten only in small portions.” Here’s what a day on the Mediterranean diet might look like:


Mediterranean diet - breakfast - IMAGE - Women's Health & Fitness

Breakfast

Two poached eggs with stewed tomatoes (drizzled with extra virgin olive oil) and one slice of wholegrain or sourdough bread. Add some dried oregano and/or chopped parsley and cracked pepper to taste. One Greek/espresso coffee.  
OR
Dakos (Cretan bruschetta) with stewed tomatoes, olive oil dressing topped with about half a teaspoon of oregano and/or chopped parsley and cracked pepper and some crumbled goat’s cheese. One Greek espresso coffee.


Mediterranean dinner idea - Snapper - IMAGE - Women's Health & Fitness

Lunch

One bowl of cannellini bean and vegetable soup (fassoulada) with a slice of dense wholegrain/sourdough bread. One apricot. Spice up the bean soup with the addition of turmeric or korma paste.  
OR
Slow-cooked pea, carrot and beef casserole with half a cup of steamed or boiled rice. Cos lettuce salad (add olive oil/lemon juice and oregano dressing).


Mediterranean lunch - cannellini beans - IMAGE - Women's Health & Fitness

Dinner

Oven-baked whole schnapper (add lemon juice/lemon slices/ oregano/salt and pepper to season before cooking), with one small baked potato and a salad of boiled green leafy vegetables. Select from endives, spinach or silverbeet; there are many green leafy vegetables available but make sure these are dressed with olive oil and lemon juice to taste.
OR
One bowl of lentil soup, a bowl of Greek salad (drizzled with olive oil) and a slice of dense wholegrain/sourdough bread. Season with tumeric or cumin.


Mediterranean diet - Wine - IMAGE - Women's Health & Fitness

Drinks

Lunch or dinner can be accompanied by a small glass of red wine or retsina.

Herbal teas such as chamomile or mountain tea, available from most delis are also beneficial.


Greek-yoghurt

Snacks

Greey Yoghurt (about 200g) topped with honey and walnuts, one medium pear.

Dried dates (four or five), an orange or two mandarins and a small sesame bar (made with honey).

Recipe ideas adapted from The Mediterranean Diet by Dr Catherine Itsiopoulos and You are what you cook by Dr Antigone Kouris.

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The Mediterranean diet can reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer, promoting longevity and improving gut health. Here’s your 24-hour sample diet plan.

Mediterranean diet 24-hour diet plan - IMAGE - Women's Health & Fitness

Why the Mediterranean diet?

Eating like you’re living on a Greek island or in a Spanish village can do more than give your taste buds a treat. Studies show that the Mediterranean diet (MD), which is high in olive oil, vegetables, leafy greens, tomatoes, seafood, nuts, fresh fruit, legumes, and wholegrain cereals, can have potent anti-inflammatory effects.

As a result, “The Mediterranean diet can reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer, promoting longevity and improving gut health,” says Antonia Thodis, a clinical and research dietitian currently studying the diet at La Trobe University.

“To maximise the anti-inflammatory benefits, replace two meat-based meals per week with two legume- or tofu-based dishes. Traditionally, in Mediterranean countries, red meat and chicken were eaten only in small portions.” Here’s what a day on the Mediterranean diet might look like:


Mediterranean diet - breakfast - IMAGE - Women's Health & Fitness

Breakfast

Two poached eggs with stewed tomatoes (drizzled with extra virgin olive oil) and one slice of wholegrain or sourdough bread. Add some dried oregano and/or chopped parsley and cracked pepper to taste. One Greek/espresso coffee.  
OR
Dakos (Cretan bruschetta) with stewed tomatoes, olive oil dressing topped with about half a teaspoon of oregano and/or chopped parsley and cracked pepper and some crumbled goat’s cheese. One Greek espresso coffee.


Mediterranean dinner idea - Snapper - IMAGE - Women's Health & Fitness

Lunch

One bowl of cannellini bean and vegetable soup (fassoulada) with a slice of dense wholegrain/sourdough bread. One apricot. Spice up the bean soup with the addition of turmeric or korma paste.  
OR
Slow-cooked pea, carrot and beef casserole with half a cup of steamed or boiled rice. Cos lettuce salad (add olive oil/lemon juice and oregano dressing).


Mediterranean lunch - cannellini beans - IMAGE - Women's Health & Fitness

Dinner

Oven-baked whole schnapper (add lemon juice/lemon slices/ oregano/salt and pepper to season before cooking), with one small baked potato and a salad of boiled green leafy vegetables. Select from endives, spinach or silverbeet; there are many green leafy vegetables available but make sure these are dressed with olive oil and lemon juice to taste.
OR
One bowl of lentil soup, a bowl of Greek salad (drizzled with olive oil) and a slice of dense wholegrain/sourdough bread. Season with tumeric or cumin.


Mediterranean diet - Wine - IMAGE - Women's Health & Fitness

Drinks

Lunch or dinner can be accompanied by a small glass of red wine or retsina.

Herbal teas such as chamomile or mountain tea, available from most delis are also beneficial.


Greek-yoghurt

Snacks

Greey Yoghurt (about 200g) topped with honey and walnuts, one medium pear.

Dried dates (four or five), an orange or two mandarins and a small sesame bar (made with honey).

Recipe ideas adapted from The Mediterranean Diet by Dr Catherine Itsiopoulos and You are what you cook by Dr Antigone Kouris.

{nomultithumb}