The Mediterranean diet is hailed as the one of the healthiest diets in the world. So  I started wondering, what do Mediterraneans eat for breakfast, only to discover that in many Mediterranean countries, such as Italy, breakfast hardly rates a mention.  But isn’t breakfast supposed to be the most important meal of the day?

In the traditional Mediterranean diet (not the corrupted one, where we pick and choose what we like – hello big bowls of pasta!), fruit and vegetables, nuts and seeds, legumes, white cheeses and yogurt,  wholegrains, some eggs, lots of fish and some red meat and poultry are main stays. They also consume a lot of olive oil (a healthy monounsaturated fat) and wine in moderation.

Breakfast no. 1


Plenty of fibre and protein is a great start to your day.

Here is a picture of foods that would be right at home for breakfast in the Mediterranean.  I reckon it looks great, and spot on for nutrition – lots of fibre and protein.

Breakfast no. 2

Plate with baked beans, mushrooms, bacon, sausage and blood pudding

Heart attack on a plate!

Here is another picture of a “Mediterranean” breakfast, as offered by a London restaurant.

This is very different indeed, and looks like a heart attack on a plate! Check out all those fried fatty cuts of meat like bacon and sausages. It is good to see some tomatoes, baked beans and mushrooms, but the portions are out of proportion. Ideally your plate should be half full of vegetables, one quarter protein, and one quarter grains/bread.

Restaurants have a lot to answer for when it comes to forming our ideas of what a “normal” plate of food is.

Breakfast no. 3

Bowl with figs and fresh yoghurt

Figs and yogurt with a sprinkle of nuts and seeds is a perfect, nutritional breakfast

Here’s another Mediterranean breakfast pic for you.

This is an awesome choice for a quick breakfast on the run. Beautiful fresh figs, or fruit in season, served with  plain Greek yogurt.  A sprinkle of nuts and seeds, and this would be a real winner, and sooo easy!



So while it is never a good idea to skip breakfast or just have a coffee, both of which set you up for a blood sugar roller coaster and hunger that can’t be satisfied later in the day,  not to mention the cranky’s and after dinner snacking, there is much we can earn from the Mediterraneans.  Breakfast No 1 looks delicious, fresh and inviting.  Yes you can eat vegies for breakfast, and get your protein from non meat sources.

So take a little trip to the Mediterranean when you sit down for breakfast this weekend, your body will thank you.  Buon appetito!


Further reading

Why breakfast really is the most important meal of the day