Your diet macros are always important, and no matter which diet you choose, you will always need to ensure that you keep your macros in check. Your macros are protein, fats, and carbohydrates found in food items we eat each day. One common question from Mediterranean diet followers is, “What are the macro percentages for the Mediterranean diet?”
Protein is on the lower end of the spectrum, and you should always start with your protein intake. If protein makes up around 15-20% of your Mediterranean diet, you will want to work out the rest of your macros around the diet. However, we would like to stress that protein is the most important and works as the building block for your body.
Since this is a popular question and many people have no understanding of how to split their macros, the following article aims to change this. Once you have completed this article, you should have all the information about your macros. You might even be able to work out your Mediterranean diet by simply assigning food to these macro percentages.
What Are Macros?
The word macro is short for macronutrients and refers to the three major nutrients that our body needs to survive. These three are proteins, fats, and carbohydrates, and they can be found in any food source you consume. Macronutrients are often found on the label of foods, and they will tell you how many of each is found in the product.
Each macronutrient is broken down into calories, and with each gram of the specified macronutrient you consume, you will find that it translates to calories. These macronutrients make up the calories we consume, and when you follow a strict diet, you will keep track of your macros to count your daily calories.
For protein and carbohydrates, you will find that each gram has 4 calories. Additionally, fats have 9-calories for each gram you consume, which is also why fats will make up the smallest part of your diet. However, each of them is important and serves a vital role in keeping you healthy and helping you stay fed during the day.
What Are The Macro Percentages For Mediterranean Diet?
Now that you have a better understanding of what macros are, you will need to look at how you can work out the ideal percentages for the Mediterranean diet. The Mediterranean diet does not use the same calories that every other diet does. To help you understand this better, we have tried to create a basic formula for your Mediterranean diet.
Protein is by far one of the most important macronutrients, and your body will need a sufficient amount of protein to ensure that you can build muscle and even retain muscle. Without enough protein, the body will go into a catabolic state, which will break down the existing muscle to get you enough protein.
If you keep your body packed full of protein, it will continue to use the influx of protein to give you energy and even help you build some muscle. However, consuming too much protein can make you feel bloated and cause stomach issues. If you want to add more protein to your diet, here are some foods that you can add to the Mediterranean diet:
- Fish and chicken: Both of these contain roughly 20-grams of protein per 100-gram serving.
- Red Meat: While it has more fat, it has around 30-grams of protein per serving.
- Nuts: Nuts are packed with protein, and you might get around 8-grams per 100-gram serving
- Dairy Products: Dairy also contains protein, but it will vary depending on the dairy source.
- Protein Supplements: Protein supplementation is probably the best way to enhance your protein intake and should have around 25-grams per serving on average (varies from product to product).
Carbohydrates are what we consider energy, and you will always need to ensure that you keep your energy levels up. It is not as dense as fats, and this way, you will consume it as the biggest chunk of your diet. However, you will need to make sure that you look for low-GI carbohydrates that will digest slower and optimize energy levels.
As a rule of thumb, try to look for natural sources of carbohydrates and avoid simple carbohydrates that have been significantly processed. Rye or brown bread is a great source that will give you a sustainable flow of energy during the day while also keeping you full of decent amounts of fiber.
- Brown Bread/ Pasta/Rice: Rice, pasta, and bread are three of the most common carbohydrate sources, and they are also low-GI.
- Tortilla: The tortilla is another form of bread, but it is not densely packed with protein, making it a great source.
- Bran Flakes: There are many bran foods available, and while they are commonly known for being high in fiber, they are great for carbohydrates.
Our body needs fats to help with the digestive process and to ensure that you feed your mind. While it is high in calories, it is also healthy for your body, and many healthy fat products are packed with micronutrients. Generally, the fiber in some of the fat sources will cancel out the calories of the fats.
- Nuts: The best source of fats can be found in different nuts, but it varies depending on the nut.
- Avocado: Avocado is always great, and it has plenty of fiber. However, it has a lot of healthy fats to keep you going.
- Fish: While fish is mostly known for protein, it also contains plenty of omega fatty acids that help with joint problems and the brain.
Mediterranean Diet Macros Summary
With this guide, you should create your own Mediterranean diet, and it should be much easier with these foods. While these are not all the foods you can use, they serve as a baseline. You can use them as your control foods and add different foods around them. However, always be mindful of the macro content.
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