Mediterranean Diet Protein Powder?

What Is The Best Mediterranean Diet Protein Powder? Drink Wholesome Is Best Mediterranean Diet Protein Powder

The Mediterranean diet is one of the healthiest and most delicious ways of eating. This plant-based diet focuses on whole, minimally processed foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, seeds, olive oil, and fish. While fresh, quality ingredients are the stars of this diet, many people wonder if protein powders and shakes can also fit into a Mediterranean lifestyle.

What Is The Mediterranean Diet?

The traditional Mediterranean diet originated from the dietary patterns of people living in countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea, like Greece, Italy, and Spain. Research has consistently shown that following a Mediterranean style of eating provides impressive health benefits, including:

  • Lower risk of heart disease
  • Reduced inflammation
  • Better blood sugar control
  • Increased longevity
  • Healthy body weight

The Mediterranean diet is built around the following characteristics:

  • High consumption of plant foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds
  • Moderate fish and seafood intake (at least twice a week)
  • Olive oil as the primary source of fat
  • Low intake of red and processed meats
  • Eggs, dairy and poultry in moderation
  • Wine in moderation with meals
  • Focus on local, seasonal, minimally processed ingredients

This balanced way of eating provides protective effects for health and wellbeing. The Mediterranean diet is associated with higher intakes of fiber, antioxidants, unsaturated fats, and micronutrients.

Protein And The Mediterranean Diet

While the Mediterranean diet is plant-centered, it is not strictly vegetarian or vegan. Moderate amounts of high quality proteins like fish, eggs, poultry, dairy and small portions of red meat can all fit into this style of eating.

However, with lower intakes of meat and higher amounts of plant foods, some wonder if it’s possible to meet protein needs on the Mediterranean diet.

The short answer is yes – getting adequate protein is definitely achievable by thoughtfully selecting Mediterranean approved protein sources. Fish, eggs, beans, lentils, nuts, seeds, and some dairy provide protein in the Mediterranean diet.

Here are some high protein foods enjoyed in the Mediterranean region

  • Fish: salmon, tuna, sardines, mackerel
  • Eggs
  • Beans: chickpeas, lentils, white beans
  • Nuts: almonds, pistachios, walnuts
  • Seeds: chia seeds, hemp seeds
  • Dairy: Greek yogurt, cheese

By regularly including a few portions of these higher protein foods each day, it’s realistic for most people to meet their protein needs following a Mediterranean diet.

Can You Have Protein Powder On The Mediterranean Diet?

Can You Have Protein Powder On The Mediterranean Diet?

While whole food sources of protein should be the priority in the Mediterranean diet, protein powders can also play a supportive role for some people looking to increase their protein intake.

Protein powders and shakes made from quality ingredients like whey, casein, pea protein, egg white protein or hemp protein can be compatible options on the Mediterranean diet, when used in moderation.

Choosing an unflavored or lightly flavored protein powder and making your own shakes at home provides the most control over ingredients. Many commercial protein shakes and ready-to-drink shakes are high in added sugars, artificial flavors, and other processed additives. Avoid these and select a high quality protein powder without a laundry list of added junk.

When included alongside an otherwise whole food Mediterranean diet, protein powders can provide a convenient and portable way to help meet protein needs – especially for those who are very active or have higher requirements.

For most people following the Mediterranean diet, 1-2 scoops of protein powder per day is a reasonable amount that can complement whole food sources of protein.

What Is The Best Protein Powder For The Mediterranean Diet? Why Drink Wholesome?

When evaluating protein powder options for the Mediterranean diet, purity and quality are key. Drink Wholesome is one of the best protein powders to use on the Mediterranean diet for several reasons:

Drink Wholesome Is Made With Whole Foods

Drink Wholesome uses only real, recognizable ingredients like organic pea protein, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds, and coconut milk powder. There are no artificial sweeteners, flavors, or preservatives.

Drink Wholesome Is Additive-Free

Many protein powders contain additives like excessive sodium, thickeners, and flow agents. Drink Wholesome keeps it simple – just whole foods.

Drink Wholesome’s clean approach fits perfectly with the Mediterranean diet’s emphasis on quality, minimally processed ingredients. With 20g of protein per serving, it provides an easy way to increase protein intake when needed.

Other high quality protein powder options made with limited whole food ingredients are also suitable for the Mediterranean diet, in moderation. Focus on purity over flashy marketing claims.

An Ultimate Guide To Protein Shakes On The Mediterranean Diet

An Ultimate Guide To Protein Shakes On The Mediterranean Diet

The Mediterranean diet encourages moderate amounts of high quality proteins from fish, beans, eggs, yogurt and other whole food sources. But can protein shakes also be part of this famously healthy, plant-focused way of eating?

Let’s cover the key questions around enjoying protein shakes while following a Mediterranean diet:

Are Protein Shakes Allowed On The Mediterranean Diet?

The Mediterranean diet doesn’t outright ban or restrict entire categories of food. The emphasis is on eating minimally processed whole foods the majority of the time.

So the question isn’t necessarily “are protein shakes allowed?”, but rather, “can protein shakes be included judiciously as part of an overall healthy Mediterranean diet?”

In moderation, high quality protein shakes can provide convenience, portability and added protein as part of the Mediterranean lifestyle.

The key is selecting high purity shakes made with recognizable ingredients, and using them to complement, not replace whole food sources of protein.

Considerations When Choosing A Protein Shake On The Mediterranean Diet

When evaluating protein shake options for the Mediterranean diet, here are some factors to consider:

Ingredients: Avoid shakes with artificial sweeteners, flavors, and excessive added sugars. Look for those made with limited, whole food ingredients.

Protein sources: Whey, pea, egg white and hemp proteins are fitting sources for the Mediterranean diet.

Calories: Select shakes that aren’t excessive in calories or skewed heavily towards protein at the expense of other nutrients. Around 200 calories or less per serving is reasonable.

Add-ins: Customize your shakes with Mediterranean diet-approved ingredients like nuts, seeds, Greek yogurt, berries and avocado.

Frequency: 1-2 shakes per day is sufficient for most people. Avoid relying on shakes for the majority of your daily protein needs.

Our Mediterranean Diet Protein Shake Recommendation

Huel is one of our top choices for a quality protein shake compatible with Mediterranean diet guidelines.

Here’s why:

  • 20g protein, 37 nutrients & probiotics
  • Vegan-friendly, gluten-free, soy-free, GMO-free
  • Only natural flavors
  • Low sugar (5g per serving)
  • No artificial sweeteners or additives
  • 250 calories per serving from whole food sources
  • Easy to customize with fruits, nuts, seeds, yogurt

Huel allows you to increase daily protein intake through an easy, nutritious and Mediterranean-friendly shake option.

High-Protein Mediterranean Diet Meal Plan

For those looking to optimize protein intake within Mediterranean diet guidelines, here is a high-protein Mediterranean diet meal plan with around 150g of protein per day.

This provides 5 balanced, Mediterranean diet-approved meals and snacks each day, with about 30g of protein per meal.

High-Protein Foods To Eat On The Mediterranean Diet

High-Protein Foods To Eat On The Mediterranean Diet

This meal plan incorporates high-quality proteins that align with the Mediterranean lifestyle:

  • Salmon
  • Shrimp
  • Eggs
  • Greek yogurt
  • Chickpeas
  • Lentils
  • Almonds
  • Peanut butter
  • Cheese
  • Protein powder

How To Meal-Prep Your Week Of Meals

Follow these tips to easily prep your high-protein Mediterranean diet meals for the week ahead

  • Cook proteins like salmon fillets, shrimp and hard boiled eggs in bulk.
  • Prep big batches of chickpea salad, lentil salad or quinoa to have on hand.
  • Wash and prep raw veggies and fruits like carrots, bell peppers, grapes, etc.
  • Make a large pot of vegetable bean soup. Portion it out into containers.
  • Whip up nut butter protein balls for quick snacks.

Breakfast (296 Calories)

  • 2 eggs scrambled with 1/4 cup chickpeas, salsa and 1 tbsp cheese
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt with berries and almonds
  • A.M. Snack (62 Calories) 1 protein ball
  • Lunch (360 Calories) Salmon salad spinach wrap with chickpeas
  • 1 cup lentil soup
  • 1 cup chopped veggies
  • P.M. Snack (87 Calories) 1 string cheese
  • Handful of grapes
  • Dinner (398 Calories) Shrimp and veggie stir fry with quinoa
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt with berries

Breakfast (297 Calories)

  • 2 egg omelette with spinach, mushrooms and feta cheese
  • 1 orange
  • A.M. Snack (8 Calories) 1 cup green tea
  • Lunch (381 Calories) Tuna and white bean salad stuffed in a pita
  • Carrots and hummus
  • Apple sliced
  • P.M. Snack (106 Calories) 1/4 cup almonds
  • 1 protein ball
  • Dinner (427 Calories) Salmon baked with herbs and asparagus
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt with cinnamon

Breakfast (281 Calories)

  • 1 cup cottage cheese with berries, almonds, chia seeds
  • 1 slice sprouted grain toast
  • A.M. Snack (30 Calories) 1 hardboiled egg
  • Lunch (381 Calories) Chickpea salad sandwich on sprouted grain bread
  • Veggies and hummus
  • Pear sliced
  • P.M. Snack (64 Calories) Carrots and 2 tbsp peanut butter
  • Dinner (462 Calories) Chicken breast with roasted veggies and chickpeas
  • Tzatziki sauce
  • 1 cup quinoa

Breakfast (297 Calories)

  • 2 eggs scrambled with spinach, feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt with mixed berries
  • A.M. Snack (8 Calories) 1 cup green tea
  • Lunch (381 Calories) Lentil soup with carrots, celery, onions
  • Quinoa chickpea salad stuffed in a pita
  • Orange slices
  • P.M. Snack (85 Calories) 1 string cheese
  • 10 almonds
  • Dinner (449 Calories) Pesto salmon with roasted broccoli
  • 1 sweet potato
  • 1 cup cottage cheese

Breakfast (297 Calories)

  • 2 eggs sunny side up
  • 1 slice sprouted grain toast with 1/4 avocado mashed
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt with cinnamon and apple
  • A.M. Snack (50 Calories) 1 protein ball
  • Lunch (381 Calories) Chickpea tuna salad sandwich on sprouted grain bread
  • Veggies and hummus
  • Plums sliced
  • P.M. Snack (78 Calories) 1 string cheese
  • Carrots
  • Dinner (407 Calories) Turkey meatballs with marinara sauce and spaghetti squash
  • Roasted cauliflower

Breakfast (287 Calories)

  • Omelette with spinach, mushrooms, feta cheese
  • 1 orange
  • A.M. Snack (8 Calories) 1 cup green tea
  • Lunch (407 Calories) Salmon salad stuffed in a wrap with lettuce, tomato
  • Lentil soup
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt with mixed berries
  • P.M. Snack (41 Calories) Baby carrots
  • Dinner (481 Calories) Grilled shrimp skewers with quinoa pilaf
  • Steamed broccoli

Breakfast (296 Calories)

  • 1 cup cottage cheese with pineapple, almonds, chia seeds
  • 1 slice sprouted grain toast with almond butter
  • A.M. Snack (87 Calories) 1 hard boiled egg
  • 1 plum
  • Lunch (407 Calories) Tuna salad stuffed in a pita with lettuce, tomato
  • Veggies and hummus
  • Pear slices
  • P.M. Snack (30 Calories)
    1 cup green tea
  • Dinner (390 Calories) Chicken sausage with tomato sauce over zucchini noodles
  • Steamed spinach

This meal plan provides a balanced mix of Mediterranean proteins, healthy fats, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to optimize protein intake. Prepping your meals ahead of time makes it easy to follow.

Can You Have Protein Shakes On The Mediterranean Diet

Can You Have Protein Shakes On The Mediterranean Diet

As we’ve covered, protein powders and shakes can be included in moderation as part of an overall healthy Mediterranean-style eating pattern.

To understand how and why protein shakes may play a supportive role within the Mediterranean diet, let’s quickly recap some key points:

Understanding The Mediterranean Diet

  • Plant-focused way of eating but includes fish, eggs, dairy and small amounts of meat
  • Emphasizes whole, minimally processed foods
  • No strict “allowed” or “banned” food categories
  • Focuses on moderation, variety and balance

Protein Shake Basics

  • Provide concentrated source of high quality protein
  • Help increase daily protein intake
  • Offer portability and convenience
  • Can be customized with healthy add-ins

What Are Protein Shakes?

Protein shakes and smoothies provide an easy vehicle to consume supplemental protein from sources like protein powders.

By blending protein powders with a liquid like water, milk or juice plus additional ingredients like fruits and vegetables, you produce a portable protein-packed beverage.

The Common Ingredients

Standard protein shakes contain:

Protein powder: Typically whey, casein, egg white, pea or hemp protein

Liquid: Water, milk, juice, non-dairy milk like almond milk

Fruits/veggies: Bananas, berries, spinach, kale, etc.

Healthy fats: Nut butters, avocado, chia seeds

Natural sweeteners: Honey, maple syrup, dates

Enjoying The Benefits Of Protein Shakes

Here are some of the advantages that protein shakes offer:

Increase daily protein intake

  • Provide balanced nutrition
  • Portable on-the-go option
  • Support muscle building and recovery
  • Curb hunger and cravings
  • Promote healthy aging

When made with high quality ingredients, protein shakes provide a nutritious way to supplement your diet with added protein.

Protein Shakes And The Mediterranean Diet Compatibility

Protein Shakes And The Mediterranean Diet Compatibility

At first glance, ultra-processed protein shakes may seem at odds with the Mediterranean diet’s emphasis on whole foods prepared from scratch.

But with a few considerations, protein shakes can co-exist within the context of the Mediterranean lifestyle.

Compatibility With The Mediterranean Diet

  • Protein shakes are most compatible with the Mediterranean diet when
  • Made from high quality ingredients like whey, pea or egg white protein
  • Include whole food add-ins like fruits, veggies, nut butters
  • Are used in moderation (1-2 per day max)
  • Complement other whole food protein sources
  • Help increase daily protein intake versus relying solely on shakes

Potential Benefits Of Protein Shakes

Here are some of the benefits that protein shakes can provide within the Mediterranean framework

  • Increased protein intake to support strength and muscle retention
  • Convenient and portable nutrition
  • Balanced meal/snack when combined with whole foods
  • Nutrient density from fruits, vegetables, seeds
  • Bridge nutritional gaps if protein needs aren’t met through whole foods alone

When used judiciously by those looking to increase daily protein intake, protein shakes can play a role in a Mediterranean-inspired eating pattern.

Customizing Protein Shakes For The Mediterranean Diet

  • To make your protein shakes as Mediterranean-friendly as possible, customize them with these nutritious ingredients:
  • Fruits: Bananas, berries, mango, pineapple, apples, oranges
  • Vegetables: Spinach, kale, zucchini, avocado
  • Healthy Fats: Nut butters, chia seeds, flaxseeds, avocado
  • Herbs/Spices: Cinnamon, vanilla, mint, cocoa powder
  • Dairy: Greek yogurt, milk, kefir
  • Liquid: Unsweetened almond milk, coconut milk, water
  • Natural Sweeteners: Honey, maple syrup, dates, stevia
  • Nuts/Seeds: Almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds

Mix and match these whole food ingredients to create protein shakes tailored to your tastes and the principles of the Mediterranean diet.

Considerations And Alternatives

While protein shakes can provide convenience and nutrition within the Mediterranean framework, it’s also important to be aware of some downsides.

There are also many alternatives to complement whole food protein sources if protein shakes don’t appeal.

Potential Downsides And Considerations

  • Could reduce consumption of whole foods if overly relied on
  • Often contain processed ingredients like artificial sweeteners
  • Require disposable packaging/bottles
  • Can be expensive compared to whole food proteins
  • Don’t provide complete nutrition on their own

Alternative Sources Of Protein

  • Canned fish like salmon or tuna
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Greek yogurt
  • Cottage cheese
  • Beans/lentils
  • Hummus
  • Nut butters
  • Cheese sticks/slices

Embracing Whole Food Sources Of Protein

Embracing Whole Food Sources Of Protein

While protein powders can be helpful for some, the best approach for most is to focus first on high quality whole food sources of

Here is the second half of the blog post:

How To Make A Morning-Changing Smoothie

One of the best ways to enjoy a protein shake on the Mediterranean diet is in the form of a balanced fruit and veggie smoothie.

Smoothies allow you to pack in servings of produce and get a protein boost to start your day right.


The Recipe For Super-Filling, Nutritionally-Balanced Smoothies

Veggies (Fresh Or Frozen):

  • Frozen riced cauliflower
  • Greens like spinach or kale


  • Greek yogurt
  • Pasteurized egg whites
  • Hemp hearts
  • Cottage cheese

Fruit (Fresh Or Frozen):

  • Bananas
  • Berries
  • Mango
  • Everything works!


  • Milk or non-dairy milk (almond, coconut, etc)
  • Water

Ice (Optional):

Add a few ice cubes to lend some frostiness

Healthy Fats (Optional):

  • Chia seeds
  • Avocado
  • Peanut butter
  • Nut butter

Sweeteners (Optional):

  • A few dates
  • Honey
  • Maple syrup

Spices (Optional):

  • Cinnamon
  • Vanilla extract
  • Cocoa powder

Make Your Smoothie Like A Pro With A Few Tips

  • Use frozen fruit and veggies for a thicker, colder texture
  • Pack the blender tightly for smooth results
  • Blend leafy greens and liquid first, then add other ingredients
  • Add chia seeds or nut butter last and blend briefly to retain texture
  • Use ripe, flavorful fruits like mangos and bananas to avoid added sweeteners
  • Play around with combinations to find your perfect smoothie recipe

Mango Dreamsicle Smoothie:

  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1/2 cup frozen mango
  • 2 tbsp Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Peanut Butter Cup Smoothie

  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds

Chocolate and peanut butter come together for a nourishing, satisfying smoothie.

Strawberry Green Power Smoothie:

  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • 2 handfuls spinach
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1 tbsp hemp hearts

With fruit, greens and nut butter, this smoothie provides a big nutritional punch.

Smoothies allow you to reap the benefits of protein shakes while emphasizing whole food ingredients. Focus on fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds to craft nutrient-dense Mediterranean diet smoothies.

To Sum Up

The Mediterranean diet prioritizes whole, minimally processed foods for optimal health. While protein powders and shakes aren’t a core part of the traditional Mediterranean eating pattern, they can be included in moderation as part of an overall balanced lifestyle.

Choose high quality protein powders and customize shakes with whole food ingredients like fruits, vegetables and healthy fats. Use shakes to complement, not replace nutrient-dense whole food protein sources. Fitting 1-2 protein shakes into your daily Mediterranean diet can help increase protein intake when needed for some individuals.

With a mindset of building meals around real foods, protein shakes can be an occasional convenient and portable component of the flexible, quality-focused Mediterranean approach.

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