Mediterranean Diet (cont.)
Betty Kovacs, MS, RD
Betty is a Registered Dietitian who earned her B.S. degree in Food and Nutrition from Marymount College of Fordham University and her M.S. degree in Clinical Nutrition from New York University. She is the Co-Director and Director of nutrition for the New York Obesity Research Center Weight Loss Program.
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
In this Article
- What is the Mediterranean diet?
- Why is the Mediterranean diet beneficial to your health?
- What is a meal plan for the Mediterranean diet?
What is a meal plan for the Mediterranean diet?
The best part of the Mediterranean diet is that you have options. There is not one food that does everything. Instead, it's all of the foods, herbs, and spices that give you the health benefits. You don't have to consume it all at once or take any magic pill. You can make choices throughout your day in what you eat, how you season your foods, and how you prepare things. Everything that you do will count.
The Mediterranean food pyramid gives you a guideline for developing your own meal plan:
Your calorie needs will determine how much of each of these you will consume. On average, their intake is:
Daily intake is an average of the following:
- Fruits: 4 to 6 servings
- Vegetables: 2 to 3 servings
- Unrefined cereal, and cereal and bread products: all these are consumed daily
- Nonfat or low-fat dairy: 1 to 2 servings
- Olive oil: main added fat
- Wine: 1 to 2 glasses
- Garlic, onions, herbs, and spices: much use
Weekly intake is an average of the following:
- Fish: 4 or 5 servings
- Olives, pulses, and nuts: more than 4 servings
- Potatoes: 4 or 5 servings
- Cheese and yogurt: in moderation
- Eggs: 1 to 4 servings
- Sweets: 1 to 3 servings monthly
- Red meat and meat products: 4 to 5 servings
You can set your goals to slowly make these changes. Using garlic when you cook, changing over to a couple of fish-based meals per week, using legumes in your meals a couple of times a week, limiting processed foods, and adding capers to your salads, meats, and sauces are great ways to begin. This goes beyond any "diet" that you go on and then go off when you are done. It's about being aware of getting more nutrients from food and feeding your health.
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