Italian American woman with alopecia making pasta from scratch with her 8 year old daughter at their home in Turlock , California, USA.
The ModiMed diet is simple and nutritious.

Unpacking the ModiMed diet: the guiding principles

The ModiMed diet was based on high intake of vegetables, wholegrain cereals and fruits.

As discussed in the previous step, the ModiMed diet recommendations were based on consumption of 12 food groups. Let’s have a closer look at each food group, the suggested number of serves and the serve size:

Food group Recommended serving Examples of one serve
Wholegrain cereals

Provides the base of the diet
5 - 8 serves per day depending on needs (eg physical activity level).

  • slice of bread or
  • ½ cup of cooked grains (eg brown rice, oats, barley, rye, wholemeal and wholegrain bread or pasta or
  • ¼ cup oats or
  • 3 crisp breads or crackers
  • Vegetables

    Consumed freely
    6 serves per day

  • ½ cup of cooked vegetables (eg sweet potato, cabbage, carrot, yam, celery, onion, bok choi and capsicum) or
  • 1 cup of leafy greens or
  • 1 tomato (each serve is approximately 75-100g)
  • Fruit

    Fresh fruit recommended
    3 serves per day

  • 150g of fruit
  • 1 medium fruit (eg apples, pears, oranges, bananas and melons) or
  • 2 small fruits (eg kiwi fruits and grapes) or
  • or 30g dried fruit
  • Dairy

    Reduced fat recommended
    2-3 serves per day

  • 1 cup of milk or
  • 200g of yoghurt or
  • 40g cheese or
  • 120g ricotta
  • Nuts

    Raw, unsalted and unflavoured
    1 serve per day


  • 30g of nuts (eg almonds and walnuts) or
  • 30g of seeds or
  • 30g nut spread
  • Legumes and pulses

    3-4 serves per week

  • ½ cup legumes (eg lentils, chickpeas or kidney beans) or
  • 75g hummus or
  • 100g tofu
  • Lean red meat

    Lean or with the visible fat removed
    3-4 serves per week

  • a palm-size piece or
  • 65-100g meat or
  • 1/2 cup of mince or
  • 2 small chops
  • Fish

    Oily fish recommended
    At least 2 serves per week

  • 100g cooked fish or
  • 95g canned fish
  • Poultry

    Skinless recommended
    2-3 serves per week

  • 80-100g poultry (eg chicken, turkey or duck)
  • Eggs

    Up to 6 serves per week

  • 60g egg
  • Extra virgin olive oil

    Recommended as the main added fat
    Up to 1 serve per day

  • 3 tablespoons or
  • 60ml
  • Extras

    Up to 3 serves per week

  • 1 dessert or
  • 1 small bottle/can of sweetened beverage or
  • 1 small packet of chips
  • Top tips to follow the ModiMedDiet

    The dietary recommendations also included several tips to facilitate decision making around food. These included the following:

    1. Select fruits, vegetables and nuts as a snack. Include 30g (1.5 tablespoons) of unsalted nuts daily.
    2. Include vegetables with every meal. Eat leafy greens and tomatoes every day.
    3. Reserve sweets for special occasions only.
    4. Choose water as the best drink.

    Notably, the ModiMedDiet was designed to facilitate positive change and improve diet quality by including an abundance of accessible, appealing and nutritious recommendations and meal ideas.

    Your task

    Based on the recommendations for the ModiMed diet, evaluate your own daily dietary intake and post 3 possible changes you could make on the Padlet wall.

    Take time to explore the changes recommended by other learners.

    What do you think influenced their recommendations?

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    This article is from the free online course:

    Food and Mood: Improving Mental Health Through Diet and Nutrition

    Deakin University