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Breakfast Food List for the Mediterranean Diet

written by: DaniellaNicole • edited by: Donna Cosmato • updated: 11/30/2010

Mediterranean diet breakfast foods offer variety, flavor and nutrition to those following the dietary lifestyle. Learn about these foods in this overview.

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    About the Mediterranean Diet

    Mediterranean Diet breakfast food options offer flavor, variety, and color. The American Heart Association points out that while the term “Mediterranean Diet” is used a lot, there really isn’t one specific Mediterranean diet. This is because there are 16 countries in the Mediterranean, and they have different cultures, crops, and customs.

    There are, however, general guidelines that can be followed to incorporate a Mediterranean-style eating plan into any diet. According to the Lyon Diet Heart Study, these guidelines for eating are:

    • meals high in fruits, vegetables, bread and other cereals, potatoes, beans, nuts, and seeds
    • include olive oil as an important source of monounsaturated fat
    • dairy products, fish, and poultry consumed in low to moderate amounts, little red meat
    • eggs consumed zero to four times weekly
    • wine consumed in low to moderate amounts

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    Yogurt

    Yogurt is a popular food in Greek culture, but the version used in Greece is slightly different than that used in the United States. The Greek version is thicker and contains more protein and less sugar.

    Yogurt is a food used in the Mediterranean diet, and a great choice for breakfast. Greeks enjoy yogurt with honey and other natural additives. On the Mediterranean Diet, yogurt, as a dairy product, should be consumed only in small quantities.

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    Fruit

    There are many fruits that on the Mediterranean Diet and can make a great addition to breakfast. Those fruits include cantaloupe, apples, and berries.

    Fruit is often eaten as a dessert in Greece and can be used in snacks or as a sweet treat on the Mediterranean Diet. A fruit cup can be a great breakfast option, as can freshly-squeezed fruit juice. Fruit can also be used to make shakes and smoothies for breakfast.

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    Breads and Cereals

    Grains are allowed on the Mediterranean Diet in higher amounts, so healthy cereals and whole grain breads can be great choices. Toast, cereal, breakfast sandwiches, and wraps can all make hearty breakfast food items.

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    Milk

    In small amounts, milk can be enjoyed with breakfast or used in smoothies or shakes for breakfast. As a dairy product, the consumption of milk is limited on the Mediterranean Diet.

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    Eggs

    Eggs can be eaten up to four times a week on the Mediterranean Diet. This allows for them to be used in a variety of ways and as a breakfast food or in other foods later in the day. A veggie-stuffed two-egg omelette can be a great start to the day. As a breakfast food, eggs are one of the most versatile options of all.

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    Summary

    Mediterranean diet breakfast food options not only allow for a nutritious start to the day, but offer variety, flavor, and color. Many different breakfast foods, meals, and menus can be created from the allowed items on the Mediterranean Diet.

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    References

    Lyon Diet Heart Study. American Heart Association. http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=4655

    Greek Yogurt Vs. Regular Yogurt: Which is More Healthful? Katherine Hobon. April 6, 2009. US News: Health. http://health.usnews.com/health-news/blogs/on-fitness/2009/4/6/greek-yogurt-vs-regular-yogurt-which-is-more-healthful.html