From burgers to mac and cheese, how to make your favorite foods Mediterranean diet-friendly, according to a dietitian
Cheeseburger and fries
If you love a cheeseburger and fries, you can add a Mediterranean diet twist by grilling instead of frying the burger patty, using a small amount of cheese, adding lettuce and tomato, and using a wholemeal bun, dietitian Kirsten Jackson told Insider.
Instead of fries, serve alongside a side salad or oven-baked potato wedges cooked in olive oil.
Another option would be a bean burger or grilled salmon burger, she said.
Pancakes with butter and maple syrup
To make your pancakes more Mediterranean diet-friendly, use wholemeal flour and top them with berries, Jackson said.
Fried chicken and waffles
While fried chicken and waffles wouldn’t be found in the Mediterranean diet, Jackson suggested making a meal of chicken fried in olive oil and served with a large salad.
“Try to include a whole grain in your salad like quinoa and then as many different vegetables as possible,” she said. “Think ‘eat the rainbow.'”
Sugary cereal with milk
Swap sugary cereals for oatmeal (jumbo rolled oats rather than processed instant oats) with milk, adding berries for sweetness, Jackson said.
Cookies, muffins, and chips
Instead of snacking on cookies, muffins, chips, and other heavily processed treats, keep hunger at bay with snacks like dried fruit, nuts, seeds, dark chocolate, homemade wholemeal muffins, roasted chickpeas, fruit, and vegetable sticks, Jackson said.
Deli meat and cheese sandwich
Instead of using white bread, deli meats, cheese, and mayo for your sandwich, make it more Mediterranean by using wholemeal bread, smoked salmon, and cucumber, Jackson said.
Pizza doesn’t have to be off the menu, simply swap deep-dish or a thick base for a thinner, wholemeal base and top with lots of vegetables, Jackson said.
Mac and cheese
To put a Mediterranean diet-style twist on a classic macaroni cheese, Jackson recommends using wholemeal pasta and blending mixed vegetables into the sauce.
Jackson recommended using wholemeal bread when making a grilled cheese, or choosing an entirely different snack like oatcakes with peanut butter.
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