Resize Your Plate
While you may normally decide on a big protein first and then choose smaller sides for a vegetable and a starch to accompany it, try choosing a vegetable or grain first. Instead of a main dish with sides, you will be serving more equal “small plates.” Approach the composition of the meal and your planning differently.
Eat in Moderation
No matter what you’re eating, make sure to moderate your intake. Portions are smaller in the Mediterranean diet. A Mediterranean-style meal is composed of appropriate portions of multiple dishes.
Buy Fresh Food that is in Season
Eat lots of vegetables and fruits every day. Your meal planning should be based on what vegetables are available. By figuring out what is seasonal and local, you will get better-quality produce. Farmers’ markets are an excellent source of inspiration and often a better price than grocery stores.
Eat Beans and Whole Grains
Since meat and poultry are not used as much in the Mediterranean diet, beans, lentils, nuts, and whole grains are the main source of daily protein. They can be the starring ingredient in soups and stews, salads, and heartier dishes when combined with meat or fish but they can also play a supporting role in vegetable and pasta dishes. Whole grains contain a number of key nutrients, such as antioxidants.
Eat more Fish and Less Meat
Fresh seafood has long been important in the countries along the Mediterranean Sea. The health benefits of eating fish and shellfish include that they are low in calories and saturated fat and rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Fish like sardines and mackerel have the added benefit of being less expensive than many other types of fresh fish. Fish can be pan-roasted, baked, broiled, braised, and grilled and doesn’t always have to be an entrée.
Serve Fresh Fruit for Dessert and Sweets on Special Occassions
It is customary in many parts of the region to have a piece of fresh fruit as the ending to a meal. Cakes and cookies are not eaten regularly but are often saved for special family celebrations.