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What does a Mediterranean diet menu consist of?

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Quick Answer

A Mediterranean diet menu consists of meals that rely primarily on fruits, vegetables and other plants. Red meat should be limited to a few times a month, and fish or other seafood should be eaten at least twice a week.

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Another key factor in Mediterranean diet meals is an emphasis on using herbs and spices for flavor instead of salt, as well as olive oil for cooking instead of butter or other fats. Grains are a big component of the Mediterranean diet, but they should be whole grains rather than highly processed ones. Nuts are another significant component of the diet.

Mediterranean diet breakfast foods might include whole-grain pancakes with fresh fruit or berries or egg dishes like frittatas or omelettes with fresh vegetables. Yogurt is another popular ingredient and can be mixed with granola and fruit for flavor.

Lunch and dinner foods generally rely on salads, legumes, beans or pasta as a base. Seafood and freshwater fish should be the primary source of meat, although chicken can be eaten often as well. Beef and pork should be limited. Potatoes and bread can be eaten as sides, although butter should be avoided. Bread can be dipped in extra virgin olive oil for flavoring.

Sweets can be eaten but only in moderation. Fresh fruit is a common dessert in the Mediterranean diet. Red wine can also be enjoyed in moderation.

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