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A Mediterranean style diet is rich in plant-based foods (but not exclusively plant-based) and this promotes a healthy GM.
People with digestive complaints may need to look at the amount of certain plant-based foods that they are eating to help minimise their gut symptoms. So, for these people we advocate a modified Mediterranean style diet, where particular foods are eaten in smaller amounts, but not excluded altogether.
General Principles of a Mediterranean Diet:
What should you aim to eat each day?
Vegetables and fruit
Portion size = approx. two cereal biscuits or ½ cup unsweetened muesli or 1/3 cup raw porridge oats, one cup of cooked rice, pasta or noodles, two slices of wholemeal bread or two medium potatoes
Limit saturated fat intake from animal fats and from tropical oils such as coconut and palm oils. Beware of trans fats found in processed foods such as hard margarines, biscuits, fatty meats, deep fried foods, pies and pastries.
Portion size = one cup of milk, one yogurt or one (matchbox size) piece of cheese. Each portion provides approx. 200mg calcium.
Portion size = for dairy alternatives varies according to their calcium content and fortification. It is important to choose calcium-enriched sources if you do not eat dairy products.
Portion size = palm of hand for protein, two eggs, ¾ cup of legumes, nuts and seeds (40g) and soya/tofu 100g.
Fluids and Fibre – The Two Fs
It is important to include adequate amounts of plant-based unrefined fibre in your diet but it is equally important to ensure that you’re drinking enough fluids along with the fibre. Eating the right amount of fibre can be a bit of a balancing act.
We recommend drinking 1.5-2 litres of fluid daily and water is best, along with herbal teas. All non-caffeinated fluids can contribute to your fluid intake for the day but alcohol does not count toward your daily fluid intake.
Tip: check your urine throughout the day, if it’s clear (except first thing in the morning), then this suggests you’re well hydrated.