Mediterranean Diet Thanksgiving Menu

Mediterranean Diet Thanksgiving Menu

Publish Date September 29, 2023 3 Minute Read

Preparing for Thanksgiving dinner can involve a lot of prep work. However, we’re here to help simplify your Thanksgiving recipes and give you tips and tricks for your holiday meal. In this article, we’ll explore the Mediterranean diet and how you might be able to apply some of these habits to your Thanksgiving Dinner.

What’s the Mediterranean Diet?

The Mediterranean diet is more of an eating pattern and lifestyle than a diet. The Mediterranean diet includes eating pattern characteristics from countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea, with lifestyle influences that include social interaction and movement. The Mediterranean diet is also well researched, touting health benefits from weight loss and heart health to mental health. It can also be one of the easiest diets to incorporate into everyday living. You can read more about the Mediterranean diet here.

What Are the Characteristics of the Mediterranean Diet?

  • Lots of fruits, vegetables and whole grains
  • Lean protein sources like fish and poultry
  • Vegetarian protein sources, including beans and legumes
  • Low-fat dairy products
  • Healthy fats from olive oils, nuts and seeds
  • Limited red meat, sweets and high-fat dairy

Mediterranean Diet Recipes and Tips

With the holidays approaching, it’s time to start thinking of Thanksgiving dinner ideas. Consider cooking your beloved traditional holiday meals while also mixing things up and including some Mediterranean diet recipes. It’s easy to enjoy the flavors of traditional foods while reaping the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet, so try incorporating some of these Mediterranean diet tips into your Thanksgiving recipes.

Add More Fruits and Vegetables

  • Start your Thanksgiving meal with a fall salad. This Squash Salad Recipe uses seasonal fruit and vegetables to give your Thanksgiving meal a fresh boost.
  • Add in more seasonal vegetables with a Mediterranean twist. Brussels sprouts are a seasonal vegetable that are packed with nutrients like fiber, vitamins and minerals. With your oven most likely taken up by other dishes, you can pull out the air fryer for Air-Fryer Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic Glaze. This recipe includes many staples of the Mediterranean diet like nuts and olive oil for healthy fats, as well as feta cheese and balsamic vinegar for flavor.
  • Check out other fall seasonal produce options for more ideas.

Add Heathy Fats

  • Choose olive oils, nuts and seeds to add healthy fats to your Thanksgiving feast. Chili Spice and Rosemary Nuts make a great snack before the big meal. Research has shown that eating nuts before meals can help with weight loss and maintenance by reducing hunger and increasing feelings of fullness.
  • Olives and olive oils are also a great source of healthy monounsaturated fats. Try these Lemon-Rosemary Olives as another Thanksgiving snack option.
  • Include nuts and olives as well as fruits and vegetables on a Mediterranean Grazing Board.

Choose Protein From Poultry, Seafood, Beans and Legumes

What’s Thanksgiving without the turkey? Good news - turkey fits into the Mediterranean eating plan as a lean protein source.

Use Low-fat Dairy

Low-fat dairy has less saturated fat than full-fat dairy. Try this Better-for-You Green Bean Casserole Recipe. It has the same great taste as your traditional green bean casserole, but with less saturated fat and more fiber.

Choose Whole Grains

Using whole wheat bread in a stuffing or dressing is a great way to add whole grains to your Thanksgiving meal. This Wild Mushroom Stuffing recipe uses whole wheat bread for extra fiber, and mushrooms for a vitamin D boost during the winter months.

Eat Sweets Mindfully

Go ahead and eat the treats you love, but aim for moderation when it comes to more sugary Thanksgiving desserts. You could try swapping a typical dessert option for Pumpkin Hummus. Not only is this a lower-sugar option than some typical Thanksgiving desserts, but it also incorporates legumes, which contain protein and fiber.

Incorporate Movement

Finally, try going for a walk after your holiday dinner. This will help bring the Mediterranean diet and lifestyle full circle on Thanksgiving.

Interested in more info on improving or changing eating habits? You can make an appointment with one of our registered dietitian nutritionists today.

Disclaimer: This information is educational only and is not meant to provide healthcare recommendations. Please see a healthcare provider.

Mediterranean Thanksgiving Recipe Ideas