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It’s not surprising that breakfast plays an important role in any heritage diet, and the Mediterranean region is no exception. Throughout history, the entire Mediterranean—from Turkey to Morocco, from Portugal to Greece—has featured whole grains and proteins in simple and complex breakfast dishes, providing richness of flavor and valuable nutrients. 

Breakfast in any part of the world often varies depending on the day of the week. But whether you’re grabbing a light and quick breakfast during the work week or lounging over brunch during the weekend, the principles of a Mediterranean breakfast remain the same: Eat a variety of different fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains, legumes, and other healthy foods.

Ready to makeover your breakfasts? To get you started, we created a Breakfast 1-2-3 Plan, inspired by Mediterranean breakfasts, classifying breakfast foods into three main categories:

  1. Whole grains (Confused about which breads at the store contain whole grains? Look for the Whole Grain Stamp.).
  2. Fruits and vegetables.
  3. A source of protein (example: eggs, yogurt, or nuts).

If you work on building your breakfasts based on these key building blocks, you’ve already taken one giant leap forward to Mediterranean breakfasts. And our suggested Mediterranean breakfast swaps will help you get there even faster:

Instead Of… Choose
Bagel with jam and cream cheese Whole wheat bagel with ricotta cheese and figs
Cereal with milk Oatmeal with dried fruits and milk
Butter on toast Baked beans on toast
Fried eggs with bacon Shakshuka with smoked fish (check out our recipe!)
Muffin Greek yogurt parfait with granola, berries, and a drizzle of honey


Remember: Eating something healthy in the morning (even a small portion if you’re not feeling like a big meal) will energize you and fill you up until lunch time.

Hungry for more? Here are some delicious Mediterranean breakfast recipes to inspire you.

Ready to go Mediterranean for the whole day? Check out our 28-day menu plan (in print form and e-book form), and map out your Mediterranean meals for four weeks!

Paola Garza, Nutritionist and Oldways Office Manager


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