7-Day Mediterranean Diet Meal Plan for Healthy Aging, Created by a Dietitian

As we age, we lose muscle and bone mineral density, and our risk of chronic disease increases. But there are many ways to help slow down the progression of aging, especially through healthy diet and exercise. One way is by following the Mediterranean diet. The principles of the Mediterranean diet focus on eating more whole foods, like fruits, vegetables, nuts and whole grains, while eating fewer highly processed foods and less red meat, saturated fat and added sugar. It’s intentionally flexible and focuses on food groups rather than specific foods so it can be easily customized. Research shows that adhering to the Mediterranean diet can help keep you agile and feeling good—both physically and mentally—for longer.   

The Mediterranean diet focuses on foods that are high in antioxidants, substances that scour your body’s cells and help rid them of free radicals, which are molecules that can harm your body over time. Some of the most commonly known antioxidants are vitamins C and E and beta carotene, which are all present in high levels in many fruits and vegetables. The Mediterranean diet also is rich in nuts and lean protein, both of which have been shown to help us retain muscle mass and reduce frailty as we age.  

In this plan, we created a full week of antioxidant-rich Mediterranean diet meals and snacks specifically to support healthy aging. We set this plan at 1,500 calories per day, which is a calorie level at which most people lose weight, but we also included modifications for 1,200 and 2,000 calories per day to accommodate those with different calorie goals. As with all meal plans, this should serve as inspiration rather than as a strict guide. Feel free to make substitutions and tailor the suggestions as you see fit. Remember to eat mindfully and listen to your body’s hunger and fullness cues to truly feel your best. 

How to Meal-Prep Your Week of Meals:

  1. Make Muffin-Tin Omelets with Feta & Peppers for breakfast on Day 1 and freeze the rest for breakfast on Days 3, 5 and 7.
  2. Prepare 2 servings of 3-Ingredient Overnight Berry Muesli on the night of Day 3 for breakfast on Days 4 and 6. 
  3. On the evening of Day 4, prepare and pack Vegetarian Chopped Power Salad with Creamy Cilantro Dressing for lunch on Days 5 and 6.
  4. Use Avocado Pesto to toss with pasta for lunch on Day 4 and as a dip for snack on Day 5.    

Day 1

Antonis Achilleos

Breakfast (360 calories)

A.M. Snack (210 calories)

  • 1 medium banana
  • 1 tablespoon natural peanut butter

Lunch (418 calories)

P.M. Snack (124 calories)

  • 1/4 cup hummus
  • 1 medium stalk celery
  • 1/2 cup sliced red bell pepper

Dinner (388 calories)

Daily Totals: 1,484 calories, 81 g protein, 128 g carbohydrates, 27 g fiber, 79 g fat, 2,048 mg sodium

To make it 1,200 calories: Omit English muffin at breakfast and peanut butter at morning snack; reduce to 2 Tbsp. hummus for the afternoon snack.

To make it 2,000 calories: Add 1 orange to breakfast, increase to 2 Tbsp. peanut butter at morning snack, increase to 1/2 cup hummus at afternoon snack, and add 2 cups mixed greens with 1 serving Balsamic Vinaigrette and 3 Tbsp. sunflower seeds to dinner.

Day 2

Breakfast (229 calories)

A.M. Snack (211 calories)

  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted roasted cashews

Lunch (436 calories)

P.M. Snack (180 calories)

  • 1 large pear
    1 ounce low-fat Cheddar cheese

Dinner (454 calories)

Meal Prep Tip: Save ½ serving Chickpea Dumplings in Curried Tomato Sauce for lunch tomorrow.

Daily Totals: 1,501 calories, 61 g protein, 179 g carbohydrates, 40 g fiber, 6I’m 9 g fat, 1,451 mg sodium

To make it 1,200 calories: Omit orange at breakfast, reduce to ½ cup raspberries and omit cashews at morning snack, and omit cheese at afternoon snack.

To make it 2,000 calories: Add 2 hard-boiled eggs to breakfast, add 1/2 cup plain low-fat Greek yogurt to morning snack, add 2 Tbsp. guacamole to lunch, and add 1 whole-wheat naan to dinner.

Day 3

Ali Redmond

Breakfast (311 calories)

A.M. Snack (208 calories)

Lunch (388 calories)

P.M. Snack (107 calories)

Dinner (481 calories)

Daily Totals: 1,495 calories, 56 g protein, 171 g carbohydrates, 25 g fiber, 70 g fat, 1,731 mg sodium

Meal Prep Tip: Prepare 2 servings of 3-Ingredient Overnight Berry Muesli for breakfast on Days 4 and 6. 

To make it 1,200 calories: Swap morning snack for 2 cups air-popped popcorn, reduce to ¼ naan at lunch, and omit almonds at afternoon snack.

To make it 2,000 calories: Add 1 whole-wheat English muffin to breakfast, add 2 Tbsp. granola to morning snack, increase to 1 whole naan at lunch, and increase to 2 plums and 1/4 cup almonds at afternoon snack.

Day 4

Breakfast (250 calories)

A.M. Snack (217 calories)

  • 1 medium apple
  • 3/4 cup 1% cottage cheese

Lunch (383 calories)

  • 1 serving Avocado Pesto with 2 ounces cooked whole-wheat pasta and 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes

P.M. Snack (198 calories)

Dinner (452 calories)

Daily Totals: 1,499 calories, 82 g protein, 182 g carbohydrates, 29 g fiber, 55 g fat, 1,539 mg sodium

Meal Prep Tip: Save 1 serving Avocado Pesto for snack for tomorrow. Prepare and pack Vegetarian Chopped Power Salad with Creamy Cilantro Dressing for lunch tomorrow and on Day 6.  

To make it 1,200 calories: Reduce to ¼ cup cottage cheese at morning snack, reduce to 1 ounce pasta at lunch and reduce to 1 serving popcorn at afternoon snack.

To make it 2,000 calories: Add 2 tablespoons peanut butter to breakfast, add 3 Tbsp. chopped walnuts to morning snack, and add 1 ounce dark chocolate to afternoon snack.

Day 5

Breakfast (360 calories)

A.M. Snack (219 calories)

  • 2 clementines
  • 1 ounce low-fat Cheddar cheese
  • 10 unsalted roasted almonds

Lunch (362 calories)

P.M. Snack (159 calories)

  • 1 serving Avocado Pesto
  • ½ cup sliced cucumber
  • ½ cup sliced carrot

Dinner (402 calories)

Daily Totals: 1,501 calories, 78 g protein, 132 g carbohydrates, 25 g fiber, 79 g fat, 1,877 mg sodium

To make it 1,200 calories: Omit English muffin at breakfast, and omit cheese and almonds at morning snack.

To make it 2,000 calories: Add 1 large pear to breakfast, add 3 ounces cooked chicken to lunch, increase to 2 servings Avocado Pesto at afternoon snack, and add 1/2 ounce dark chocolate to dinner.

Day 6

Breakfast (250 calories)

A.M. Snack (307 calories)

  • 1 large pear
  • ¼ cup unsalted dry-roasted shelled pistachios

Lunch (362 calories)

P.M. Snack (145 calories)

  • ½ cup plain lowfat Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup pineapple
  • 1 teaspoon honey

Dinner (442 calories)

Daily Totals: 1,506 calories, 74 g protein, 161 g carbohydrates, 30 g fiber, 66 g fat, 1,121 mg sodium

To make it 1,200 calories: Omit pistachios, swap the pear for a clementine at morning snack, and omit honey at afternoon snack.

To make it 2,000 calories: Add 2 tablespoons peanut butter to breakfast, add 3 ounces cooked chicken to lunch, and increase to 1 1⁄4 cups yogurt and 2 tsp. honey at afternoon snack.

Day 7

Breakfast (360 calories)

A.M. Snack (210 calories)

  • 1 medium banana
  • 1 tablespoon natural peanut butter

Lunch (304 calories)

P.M. Snack (63 calories)

Dinner (559 calories)

Daily Totals: 1,496 calories, 94 g protein, 164 g carbohydrates, 31 g fiber,  55 g fat, 1,889 mg sodium

To make it 1,200 calories: Omit English muffin at breakfast and peanut butter at morning snack. Increase to 2 servings of popcorn at afternoon snack. Swap dinner for Charred Shrimp, Pesto & Quinoa Bowls.

To make it 2,000 calories: Add 2 clementines to breakfast, increase to 2 Tbsp. peanut butter at morning snack, and add 2 hard-boiled eggs and 22  almonds to afternoon snack.

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