Frequently Asked Questions about the Mediterranean Diet

Does the Mediterranean Diet let me eat carbs?
The Mediterranean Diet doesn’t cut out any one food group or macro nutrient. We need carbs for energy!

Carbs have gotten a bad rap in America recently, but there’s a big difference between the carbs that come from Doritos and the carbs that come from fruit or brown rice.

It’s not the carbs that are the problem!

It’s the processed junk and chemicals in processed foods, as well as the super stimulating artificial flavors that have been added that make it hard to stop eating them. Cut out the processed foods.

Enjoy potatoes, bananas, and brown rice without fear! Lots of carb-friendly meals here!

Will I ever have a burger again?
The Mediterranean Diet recommends limiting red meat. For many people, having red meat once a week or less is an ideal amount.

Red meat can provide iron and other important nutrients and vitamins, but also contains cholesterol that can be problematic for many individuals.

Also, most commercially raised cows are feed antibiotics and other chemicals to fatten them up, which are then transmitted to you. We recommend organic meat if possible, as it avoids some of these health concerns.

You also want to eat a burger made with real meat, rather than the filler and junk used in most fast food places.

So, if you want a burger, have a juicy organic burger that you grill yourself… and then enjoy plenty of vegetables, beans, and fish the rest of the week.

What about dessert? I really like dessert.
Great news: no food group is off limit! Moderation is key. You want to keep an eye on your overall sugar intake with the goal of reducing it as much as possible.

Research continues to point to added sugar and artificial sweeteners as a main reason that many of us have trouble managing our weight.

Added sugar may play a role in promoting diabetes in susceptible individuals. Try having a mango or fresh berries for dessert instead of baked treats. (Your taste buds will adjust!)

Or limit your dessert eating to certain nights of the week, like only on the weekends. Read more about desserts on the Mediterranean Diet here.

Can I eat at a restaurant on a Mediterranean Diet?

Yes you can, and enjoy it too.

People who follow this way of eating love how flexible it is and how easily you can adapt your diet to fit your lifestyle.

You will want to modify your order to fit in with the guiding principles of a Mediterranean Diet. You will likely have to ask questions about what hidden ingredients may be in restaurant meals.

In some cases, you may need to simply do the best you can—even fast food places have salads with grilled chicken these days!

But you will find that most dining establishments will happily accommodate your request to leave off the mayonnaise or swap broccoli for French fries so that you can enjoy time with family and friends while staying true to your commitment to good health.

What about my favorite coffee shop? Is coffee part of this diet?
Coffee is completely fine! That said, many drinks at coffee shops are full of liquid sugar. With your health goals in mind, you will want to be mindful about what you order. An unsweetened latte or cappuccino is a great way to start the morning without derailing your diet.

Another note: too much caffeine, or caffeine too late in the day, can mess with your sleep. If you have trouble sleeping, try limiting your caffeine to smaller amounts, or only in the morning, to see if your sleep improves.

Can I eat artificial sweeteners like Splenda, Sweet & Low, or Equal?
The Mediterranean Diet does not recommend artificial sweeteners. The focus of this way of eating is on real, whole foods and avoiding chemicals and processed foods.

Artificial sweeteners fall entirely in the second camp and come with a whole host of questions around what they can do to your health and your waistline.

It would be far better to put a little bit of honey in your tea instead of a packet of fake sugar.

If you have been using fake sugar, which is extremely sweet and developed to be palatable, you may find it tough to stop. Many people have had success using a step down approach, reducing how much you are using every couple of days, as your taste buds recalibrate.

Is eating this way really expensive?
With an overall focus on produce, beans and healthy grains, this way of eating can be substantially cheaper than other methods of eating that are more meat-heavy. Whether your food bill increases depends a lot on what you’ve been eating.
  • If you normally order take-out 5 nights a week and switch to cooking at home, you will save money.
  • If you normally grill burgers most evenings and you are now primarily eating beans and rice, your wallet will benefit.
  • If you are used to buying cheaper convenience foods like chips, switching to fresh fish and produce will likely increase your grocery bill.
To keep an eye on your budget, we recommend buying frozen produce (same nutrients as fresh but cheaper), building your meals around beans and rice instead of meat, and shopping for things in season. It’s a great idea to keep the long-game in mind. Meaning, a happy, healthy, longer life with excellent health will be worth a few extra dollars! For budget friendly meals, check out this page.

Also, a meal plan is a great way to reduce food waste because you actually use what you buy! No more fresh spinach turning into slime in the back of the vegetable crisper. Plus less chance for impulse buying when you have a plan.
Can I follow this way of eating if I can’t afford organic products?
Yes, absolutely!

Organic products are a top choice if you can make room for them in your budget but not everyone can.

You will still be able to realize significant health improvements by choosing real, unprocessed conventional food over the highly refined, packaged, or fried options!

Additionally, eating organic is not an all or nothing proposition. If you need to prioritize, we recommend prioritizing organic meats and the “Dirty Dozen” produce list.

Will I lose weight on a Mediterranean Diet?
If you are carrying extra weight, research on the Mediterranean Diet shows that

you are likely to lose weight, no calorie counting required!

Eating nutrient-dense, whole foods will help you fill satisfied with fewer calories. Leading many people to naturally, easily lose weight. (We can’t speak to your specific situation, but research indicates the Mediterranean Diet as promoting weight loss in individuals carrying extra weight)

This is overwhelming! Does it get easier?
This isn’t really a question, but we are happy to address it anyway! Making changes to the way that your family eats can be challenging. We designed our resources to help you do just that, easily, deliciously, and happily!

For beginners, we recommend checking out our Quick Start Guide, with tons of information so you can get up and running quickly.

Everything you need, all in one place. If you are ready to test drive the Mediterranean Diet, go on over to our Meal Plan page and find a Meal Plan that is perfect for your family.

These are one-month plans, complete with grocery lists, designed with a registered dietitian specifically for families, that will optimize your nutrition. More here.

Will my family like this way of eating?
Great news—the Mediterranean Diet is a flexible, sustainable way of eating.

Everyone in your house should be able to find something that they love.

We recommend checking out our easy meals for meals that the whole family can try and ideas for making dinners fun too!

Ashley is a Mom of three and her kids are always the test subject when she is designing a new recipe! Jamie has worked with helping families make meal time enjoyable as a dietitian and is excited to begin making family meals after welcoming her daughter this year. More about them here.

If you have more questions or what more information, contact us today. We are here to help you along your healthy journey!

Questions about Meal Plans:

I don't eat dairy, I'm gluten-free, or I'm a picky eater. Will this work for me?

Absolutely, we’ve got you!
Modifications and customization options are available on the check out screen! We offer dairy-free and gluten-free. Even our standard meal plans come with easy substitution advice for recipes if you don’t like or cannot eat a certain food.
I'm cooking for 4 people, 2 people, or just myself. Will this work for me?
Yes! Our meal plans are designed for 2 people, because we know that it's the easiest way to let people scale up for 4 (just double everything) or down for 1 (cut it all in half). 
Most recipes are easy to scale further if you need, or let us know, and we can do a custom meal plan!
Do I have to do this alone?
No way! You will be able to join our super supportive Facebook group, to share your experience and swap tips with other members.

Our experts, included a registered dietitian with substantial experience on the Mediterranean Diet, regularly check in to answer questions.

Can't I plan my meals by myself? Do I really need a plan?
Our clients self-report saving hours of time each week using our meal plans. These plans have been specifically prepared under the guidance of a Registered Dietitian to ensure that they are maximally health inducing.

So while you can plan your meals on your own, we recommend giving our plans a try if you want to save time and headaches.

How long will it take to make healthy meals? I'm busy.
Our clients report saving hours of time each week because they no longer have to search the internet to find recipes, plan our their week, and then craft a grocery list.

The recipes themselves have been created to be minimally time intensive. We have families too, and we know all too well that it is not realistic to spend hours making each meal (even if we might like to)!

Our recipes were created to be straight-forward, quick, and super delicious! If you find yourself in a pinch, we have healthy ideas for no-cook meals on our blog, too!

Will I always be eating the same thing?
No way! We have tons of unique and interesting recipes to ensure that your palate is constantly intrigued. Think: carrot cake overnight oats, savory turkey and bean minestrone, and chocolate nutty baked pears.
How do I access the meal plan, once I purchase?
The Meal Plan is available immediately as a digital download (PDF). No waiting required!

What if I have special dietary needs or goals?
Lots of substitutions available on each meal plan, in case you don't like a certain ingredient. We have gluten-free and dairy-free meal plans available. 

The Mediterranean Diet plays well with keto, pescatarian, vegetarian, vegan, sugar free, low salt, low sugar, weight loss, and many other dietary choices, as well as diets avoiding gluten and dairy.

You can also contact us for any questions and for custom meal planning design if you prefer it.


Are you looking to continue to enjoy sweets while living a healthy lifestyle? 

The Mediterranean Diet can help prevent diabetes, reduce heart disease risk, promote weight loss, and help you live a longer, healthier life. It's backed by decades of research.

But the truth is, there's a lot of misinformation out there! It can be really tough to get started.

If you're struggling to begin, our Starter Guide & Recipe Book is the perfect first step! It gives you:

  • Important principles to start using now
  • A collection of easy, delicious recipes to make at home
  • Actionable steps from a nutrition expert

Best of all? It's completely FREE -- our gift to you! You can snag your copy today!

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