What a doctor who wrote a book on the Mediterranean diet eats for breakfast

Dr Simon Poole;  oatmeal with yogurt and rhubarb.

Dr Simon Poole; oatmeal with yogurt and rhubarb.Simon Poole/Getty

  • The Mediterranean Diet is often lauded as the healthiest way to eat.

  • A diet expert shared three breakfast ideas with Insider.

  • Try sourdough toast topped with Spanish-style tomatoes or oatmeal with nutmeg and yogurt.

To start the day with a Mediterranean-style meal, try yogurt, oats or tomatoes on sourdough, a doctor told Insider.

The Mediterranean diet focuses on vegetables, legumes, seafood and olive oil and encourages a reduction in processed and fried foods, red meat, refined grains, sugar and saturated fat.

“The Mediterranean diet is recognized as the gold standard healthy diet,” Dr. Simon Poole, a diet expert based in Cambridge, UK.

“It’s a traditional, mostly plant-based, natural, unprocessed diet that has had a considerable amount of really good, high-quality scientific research done to show that it reduces the risks of so many chronic diseases, from heart disease and ‘stroke through to many cancers and even Alzheimer’s disease,” he said.

It’s also associated with longevity, better mental health and maintaining a healthy weight, so it may improve quality of life in many areas as well, Poole said.

“It’s a diet that ticks all those boxes with all the evidence behind it,” Poole said.

Poole shared three breakfast ideas with Insider.

Yogurt with berries, nuts, seeds, honey and cinnamon

Yogurt with berries and nuts.

Yogurt with berries and nuts.Getty


  • Frozen berries, thaw overnight in the refrigerator

  • A handful of mixed unsalted nuts

  • Sprinkle with seeds

  • Whole Greek yogurt

  • Sprinkle with cinnamon or nutmeg

  • Raw, unprocessed honey (optional)


  1. Complete the yogurt with all the other ingredients.

Poole opts for frozen berries as they cost less than fresh ones. Berries, frozen or fresh, are a good source of fiber and polyphenol antioxidants, which have been linked to a lower risk of some cancers, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and neurodegenerative diseases, according to Colorado State University.

Nuts provide protein, which aids satiety, as well as healthy fats, magnesium, zinc, and potassium.

“Cinnamon or nutmeg are very rich in natural antioxidants, and whole-fat yogurt is not only good for the gut microbiome, but adding that fat to the fruit will also reduce the glycemic rise,” Poole said.

That means it keeps blood sugar more stable and is less likely to lead to weight gain or the development of type two diabetes, Poole said.

Spanish style tomatoes on toasted bread

Sofrito on toasted bread

Sofrito on toasted bread.Getty



  1. Sauté the garlic and onion in extra virgin olive oil and then add them to the tomato sauce (this can be done in advance in bulk and kept in the fridge).

  2. Toast the bread and then drizzle with the tomato mix (hot or cold) and another drizzle of olive oil.

Tomato mix is ​​a staple sofrito that is commonly eaten in Spain and other Mediterranean countries. It’s a good choice, with one small study suggesting that eating just a serving of sofrito could reduce markers of inflammation in men who previously ate a Western-style diet.

“Because we now know that most chronic diseases and illnesses are caused by chronic inflammation, it’s really remarkable to know that just one meal can reduce inflammatory markers,” Poole said.

“If we eat regular meals that contain all the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant components of olive oil, tomatoes, onions and garlic, then perhaps we can keep our inflammation levels down day after day,” she added.

Breads like sourdough, spelled or rye have a lower glycemic index, so they keep blood sugar levels stable and usually have fewer additives than other types of bread, Poole said.

Oatmeal with yogurt and nutmeg

Oatmeal with yogurt and rhubarb

Oatmeal with yogurt and rhubarb.Getty


  • Steel cut oats

  • Yogurt

  • Nutmeg or cinnamon


  1. Cook the oats to make oatmeal to your liking (either in water or in your favorite milk).

  2. Garnish with nutmeg and yogurt.

“Oats are a traditional product in the UK, but they actually originated in the Mediterranean,” said Poole. “A breakfast of oats is very good for you.”

Oats are a good source of fiber, release energy slowly to keep you feeling full, and also help lower cholesterol levels.

Read the original Insider article

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