No matter what regimen the recipe you happen to find comes from, you can happily adapt it to the Mediterranean Diet by following the following guidelines. Just substitute the following foods where appropriate, and there you have it: a new Mediterranean Diet recipe!
* Fruits and vegetables. If it’s a fruit or a vegetable, it’s likely to be your friend on the Mediterranean Diet. No canned or processed stuff; get it as fresh as it came off of the tree. You might want to give up on store-bought fruit juices and just squeeze your own juice from whole fresh fruit, as even the juices that say “100% juice” add sugar.
* Nuts and legumes. Very often overlooked. Peas, beans, and lentils are chock full of fiber, vitamins, minerals, calcium, zinc, and protein. You can have them in place of meat, even. Note that this does not include coconut, which actually isn’t a nut technically at all.
* Extra Virgin Olive oil. Use it everywhere, for every oil, butter, or fat substitution. Fry in it, simmer meat in it, top bread and toast with it, dress salads in it.
* No sugar! None! Ever! There’s plenty of natural sweeteners instead of sugar, including dates, figs, and honey.
* Whole grains. Going back to fiber for a moment, people of the Mediterranean region avoid anything bleached and processed like it was deadly poison. Remember, this is the area where the concept of unleavened bread came from. Bread is at the least whole grain, and even then not consumed in large quantities.
* Dairy. This is the smallest proportion of foods eaten daily. It’s no exaggeration to say that Mediterraneans use at the most one cup of milk per day, and this is likely only used in preparing foods. At that, it is non-fat milk or goat’s milk. Cheese and yogurt are popular, however, but again it is goat’s milk for the cheese (feta) or skim milk for yogurt.