Mediterranean Diet Basics

The basics of the Mediterranean diet can be broken into 9 important areas of change for your health:

1. Vegetables - This one's pretty easy. It’s hard to eat too many vegetables...
2. Legumes - Making beans your choice for a starch...
3. Fruits and nuts - Fruit is the perfect snack...
4. Cereals - Whole grains are really good for you...
5. Fish - More fish, less meat...
6. Olive oil - This really means eating more monounsaturated fat...
7. Dairy products - The traditional Mediterranean diet doesn’t have dairy products as a major focus...
8. Meats - Less meat and lean meats...
9. Alcohol - There is good evidence that moderate use of alcohol is good for you...

Need more information? Read about the research!

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The Mediterranean Diet

No. 8 - Meats

London Broil Flank SteakLess meat and lean meats. The median consumption was about 4 ounces of meat per day. The rule of thumb is to eat red meat only about once a week. When you are choosing meats, look for leaner cuts that will have less saturated fats. Most recipes on the Dr. Gourmet site use 4 ounces as a standard serving in a recipe whether it is beef, lamb, poultry or fish.

About Meats

Bacon, Canadian
Broil / Grill
Cooking Chicken and Poultry
Cuts of Beef
Fat in Beef
Fat in Chicken Breasts
Fat in Pork
Ham Types
Hanger Steak
Pork Tenderloin
Char-Grilling or Broiling Meat
Chicken Breasts, Fat in
Chicken Safety
Chicken Skin
Cooking Beef
Lamb, Lean Cuts of
Marbling of Meats and Tenderness
Marinate, as Flavor Enhancer
Pounding Meat
Red Meat, Cholesterol in
Resting Meat
Roasting, Less Fat
Pork, Fat Content
Portion Size
Slicing Steak

Recipes containing meats:



Flank Steak

Beef Bourguignon
Beef Stew
Beef Stroganoff
Chili Con Carne
Garlic Lime Flank Steak
Ginger Cilantro Flank Steak
Philly Cheese Steak

Ground Beef

Meatball Hoagie
Spaghetti with Meatballs


Calf's Liver with Onion and Apple
Fegato alla Toscana (Sage Seared Calves Liver)

London Broil

London Broil with Mushrooms Sauteed in Bourbon
London Broil with Mushrooms Sauteed in Cognac


Tenderloin with a Merlot Blackberry Reduction
Tenderloin with Blue Cheese Butter
Pan Grilled Tenderloin with Beurre Bercy

Other Cuts

Green Curry Beef
Maple Herb Crusted Rib Eye Steak
Oven Seared Hanger Steak
Skirt Steak with Sauteed Mushrooms

Lamb / Venison

Grilled Sage Lamb Kabobs
Lamb Burgers
Southwest Venison Cheeseburgers
Turkish Lamb with Saffron Rice and Peas


Barbecue Chicken
Barbecue Chicken Pizza
Chicken and Rice Salad
Chicken Mole
Chicken Piccata
Chicken Pot Pie
Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic
Chicken with Roasted Tomatillo Sauce
Chicken with Tarragon Mustard Cream
Chinese Chicken Salad
Curried Chicken
Ginger Chicken with Edamame
Ginger Chicken with Napa Cabbage
Island Chicken
One Skillet Chicken and Black Beans
Oven Fried Chicken
Polynesian Chicken
Pulled Barbecue Chicken Sandwich
Risotto con Pollo
Spiced Chicken with Honey Glaze
Vineyard Chicken
Wet Rub Chicken
Yellow Pepper and White Asparagus Soft Tacos


Stuffed Turkey Breast
Roasted Turkey Breast



Autumn Pork Chops with Roasted Shallots and Carrots
Cumin Dusted Pork Chops
Lemon Pork with Lentils
Pan-Seared Pork Chops with Savory Peach Marmalade
Pork Chops with Black Bean and Pickapeppa Sauce
Pork Chops with Caramelized Apples
Pork Chops with Warm Tomatillo Salsa


Mojo Pork Tenderloin
Pork Tenderloin Coward
Pork Tenderloin with Balsamic Port Sauce
Shiitaki and Cranberry Stuffed Pork Loin


Red Beans and Rice

Research Articles - Meats in The Mediterranean Diet

You can read more about the science of why eating meat is still good for you in these articles:

10 Things You Need to Know About Reading Food Labels: There are so many different types of foods out there that make claims about being healthy. The term "natural" is a good example of packaging that can be confusing. There is no regulation for the term "natural" and you could be purchasing a food that is made with 50% lard or is mostly sugar.

10 Things You Need to Know About Health Claims on Food Labels: The FDA allows health claims to be made on foods, but the assertion does have to meet certain criteria.

Yes, You Can Eat Red Meat (Just Not Every Day): My patients are always saying that they can't eat healthy because they like to eat red meat. Well, I like eating a good steak as much as the next person and I do. I don't eat red meat that often ' probably about 5 times a month or so. I do eat leaner cuts and Dr. Gourmet recipes reflect these healthier choices

Control Cholesterol Through Diet Alone? Canadian researchers assessed the cholesterol levels of 55 men and women over the course of one year of a recommended low-fat diet designed to combine various foods known for their cholesterol-lowering effects.

Red Meat and Breast Cancer in Women: There have been links to an increased risk of cancer in those who eat higher amounts of red meat. So far this has not been shown in women with breast cancer, however. In a study published this week a group of researchers looked at a large number of women to determine if this might be the case.

The war on obesity is not limited to adults: Children are becoming overweight right alongside their parents. Since eating habits are formed in childhood, researchers in pediatrics are examining how parents can best help their children form healthy eating habits. To do that, the researchers need to evaluate what strategies parents are currently using and how well they work.

Is it "Healthy" or "Junky"? "Drink your milk; it will help you grow big and strong," a parent tells her child. At what age are children able to correctly classify foods according to whether they are good for them or not?

A healthy diet helps you avoid skin cancer: Cancer is caused by a multitude of factors, but one that we're sure of is cellular damage through oxidation. High levels of sun exposure causes this oxidative damage to skin cells, which can lead to skin cancer. On the other hand, we also know that anti-oxidants in the diet, like vitamins C and E, can help reduce this damage.

Red meat still not bad for you: Older studies have linked eating more red meat with a higher risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. But is it the red meat itself, the higher saturated fat that's associated with red meat, or something else?

Small Changes Can Have a Big Impact: You probably are aware that being overweight has a negative impact on your blood pressure, and that high blood pressure can lead to stroke and heart attack and even death. Losing weight is the obvious answer, but how much weight do you have to lose to make a difference in your heart health?

What I (Un)Learned in Medical School
It was about 15 years ago, but as amazing as it may seem, I actually had a professor say, "I don't care about my diet, I'll just take Zocor or another cholesterol lowering medication and keep eating my thick, juicy steaks." This was in response to a Grand Rounds lecturer speaking about the importance of diet in preventing heart disease.