How to make your favorite foods fit the Mediterranean diet, from burgers to mac and cheese, according to a dietitian


Replace a deep-dish pizza with a thin, wholegrain pizza topped with vegetables to make it more suitable for a Mediterranean diet.getty

Cheeseburger and French Fries

hamburger and fries

The bean burger is a good alternative to the hamburger.Shutterstock/Triff

If you love cheeseburgers and fries, you can add a Mediterranean diet twist by grilling the burger patties instead of frying them, using a small amount of cheese, adding lettuce and tomatoes, and using a whole wheat bun, dietitian Kirsten Jackson tells Insider.

Serve alongside a side salad or oven-baked potato wedges simmered in olive oil instead of french fries.

That said, another option might be a bean burger or a grilled salmon burger.

Crepes with butter and maple syrup


Whole wheat flour may make pancakes more suitable for the Mediterranean diet.iStock

To make your pancakes more suitable for the Mediterranean diet, use wholemeal flour and top with strawberries, Jackson said.

Fried chicken and waffles

chicken and waffles

Chicken fried in olive oil is an alternative to fried chicken.Aimee M Lee/Shutterstock

While the Mediterranean diet does not include fried chicken and waffles, Jackson suggested making a dish of chicken fried in olive oil and served with a large salad.

“Try to include a whole grain like quinoa in your salad and then as many different vegetables as possible,” she said. “Think of ‘eat the rainbow’.”

Cereal with milk


Cereals can contain a lot of sugar.verified

Replace sugary cereals with milk for oatmeal (jumbo oatmeal instead of processed instant oats), add strawberries for sweetness, Jackson said.

Cookies, cakes and chips


Whole wheat muffins are a good swap for regular muffins.LauriPatterson/Getty Images

Instead of snacking on cookies, muffins, chips and other heavily processed foods, keep your hunger in check with snacks like dried fruit, nuts, seeds, dark chocolate, homemade wholemeal muffins, roasted chickpeas, fruit and vegetable bars, says Jackson.

Deli meat and cheese sandwich

Mudgie's Deli Sandwich Detroit

Whole wheat bread can add a Mediterranean diet to a sandwich.Justin A / Yelp

Instead of using white bread, delicatessen, cheese, and mayonnaise for your sandwich, make your sandwich more Mediterranean by using wholemeal bread, smoked salmon, and cucumber, Jackson said.

deep dish pizza

Giordanos deep dish pizza

Try a thin-bottomed pizza instead of a deep dish.Irene Jiang/Business Insider

Pizza doesn’t need to be taken off the menu, just the deep dish or replace a thick base with a thinner, wholegrain base and lots of veggies, Jackson said.

Mac and cheese

mac and cheese on a white and green baking sheet on a yellow tablecloth

Adding vegetables to mac and cheese can make it healthier.Igor Dutina/Shutterstock

To add a Mediterranean diet-style twist to a classic macaroni cheese, Jackson recommends using whole wheat pasta and mixing mixed vegetables into the sauce.

Grilled Cheese

Grilled Cheese

Using whole wheat bread can make the grilled cheese sandwich more suitable for the Mediterranean diet.iStock/Ju-Lee

Jackson recommended using wholemeal bread when making grilled cheese or choosing an entirely different snack, such as peanut butter oatmeal muffins.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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