Unlike many other royals, Meghan Markle’s diet isn’t a total mystery. As you may have noticed, members of the British royal family rarely, if ever, speak on the record about their eating habits. Meghan bucked that trend during her and Prince Harry’s 2017 engagement interview. She revealed that she and Harry dined on homemade roast chicken on the night Harry popped the question.
Beyond that, however, most of what we know about Meghan’s eating habits we have to glean from what’s left of her erstwhile lifestyle blog, The Tig, and the various interviews she gave as a member of a different "royal" cohort — by which we mean Hollywood royalty.
What we have, thankfully, is a wealth of information about how this self-described foodie manages to balance her love of food with her respect for her health and figure. "My favorite foods run the gamut from healthy to indulgent, but rest assured, they are always delicious," she wrote in an article for Today back in 2012. As you’ll see, that’s an apt description. Read on for everything you’ll find in Meghan’s diet plan.
Meghan Markle basically follows the Flexitarian Diet
"The Flexitarian Diet was created by dietitian Dawn Jackson Blatner to help people reap the benefits of vegetarian eating while still enjoying animal products in moderation," according to Healthline. That sounds very much like the way Meghan Markle described her diet to journalist Melissa Greer in 2015. "I try to eat vegan during the week and then have a little bit more flexibility with what I dig into on the weekends. But at the same time, it’s all about balance," Meghan told Best Health.
Since then, it appears Meghan has become a bit more flexible, at least with regard to when she is willing to incorporate animal products. Writing as guest editor of British Vogue in 2019, she interviewed Michelle Obama over a "casual lunch of chicken tacos." At the time, Meghan was pregnant with her son, Archie. While vegan-style eating is generally considered to be safe during pregnancy, according to obstetrician Richard Beyerlein, her willingness to listen to her body earns her kudos from Dr. Todd Sinett, a chiropractor and kinesiologist.
Meghan Markle includes some red meat in her diet
When pre-Duchess Meghan Markle spoke to Delish about her diet plan, she said that her secret to cooking flavorful steak is squirting it with lemon before throwing it on the grill. "Nobody tastes the lemon, but it really brings out the steak’s flavor," she said. In an article she wrote for Today in 2012, she mentioned that both lamb tagine and pot roast had been known to make an appearance on her Sunday dinner table.
Yes, it seems Meghan’s flexitarian diet includes red meat. Although red meat often gets a bad rap, it can be included in a healthy diet, according to Dr. Ronald Caplan, physician and author of the book, Long Life Strategy. "All good things in moderation is a good path to follow," he told Health Digest. "Red meat is an efficient source of protein, iron, and energy." In fact, Dr. Caplan sees eating red meat as an effective strategy for getting enough iron, protein, and amino acids without overloading on calories, which may happen in a strictly vegan diet.
Meghan Markle’s love of poultry dates back to childhood
Writing for Today in 2012, Meghan Markle waxed poetic about her recipe for chicken adobo, a slow-cooked Filipino dish featuring vinegar, soy sauce, and garlic. She also wrote about her love of turkey meatballs, which her mother introduced her to when Meghan was a child. "Mom cooked a lot of turkey when I was growing up. Turkey meatloaf, turkey burgers, ground turkey shepherd’s pie — my childhood was the Bubba Gump of turkey," she explained. Meghan has since "elevated" turkey meatballs to a new level with a hint of lemon zest, thanks to a recipe shared by Gwyneth Paltrow on Goop.
Although Meghan enjoys poultry and replacing traditional red meat recipes with turkey, it’s still wise to limit meat products — red or white. "Chicken was touted as the great answer to red meat," registered dietitian Elisa Bremner told Health Digest. But Bremner recommends treating poultry no differently from red meat in that it’s best to eat it "less often." Women’s health physician Richard Beyerlein also pointed out that while chicken is a good source of protein, it’s imperative to cook it thoroughly to avoid food poisoning, especially when pregnant.
Meghan Markle’s diet includes a healthy portion of fish and seafood
"I love seafood," Meghan Markle wrote for Today in 2012, and she’s proud of the seafood dishes she crafts at home. One of her signature dishes is Italian seafood stew (aka cioppino), which, she noted, depends heavily on the quality and freshness of the fish as well as keeping the ingredients simple and clean. But wine-simmered shellfish is just one of the ways Meghan has been known to enjoy the fruits of the sea.
In an archived post from The Tig, she revealed that not only does she adore sushi, but she’ll sit at the sushi bar and eat whatever the sushi chef makes for her (via Wattpad). And when Eye Swoon once asked Meghan to name a recent "swoon-worthy food experience," Meghan revealed, "Hand diving for sea urchin in Jamaica and scooping out the freshest uni and eating it in the ocean."
Meghan is onto something with her love of seafood. "Seafood has a high nutritional value providing protein, omega-3 fats, rich in vitamins B12 and D, and supplying essential minerals," obstetrician Richard Beyerlein told Health Digest.
Tacos make a very public appearance in Meghan Markle’s diet plan
While serving as guest editor of British Vogue in 2019, Meghan Markle interviewed former First Lady Michelle Obama over, as Meghan put it, a "casual lunch of chicken tacos." While the revelation that Meghan was no longer a weekday vegan was shocking to some, it’s not necessarily too surprising that Meghan would enjoy a nice lunch of fresh tacos now and then. "I’m a California girl, and being from Los Angeles, I was conditioned to like Baja-style food from the womb," she wrote in an article for Today in 2012. "You think I’m joking. I’m not."
While Baja tacos are meant to be made from fish, not chicken, have no fear: Meghan Markle loves her some grilled fish tacos too. In fact, there are few foods that can make her as happy as a Baja-style fish tacos served with peppers and onions (via Today).
Meghan Markle enjoys steel-cut oats with banana slices for breakfast
In an interview with Delish that dates back to her days as a television actress, Meghan Markle said that one of her favorite on-set breakfasts was steel-cut oats topped with sliced bananas. And the nutrition expert we consulted is all for this quick breakfast.
"Oats are a great source of fiber and can help you to stay full for longer and control your weight," Nicole Avena, a nutrition expert and research neuroscientist told Health Digest. "Their high fiber content also may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and other conditions attributed to inflammation." If you’re limiting your sugar intake, you might want to consider eating bananas before they’re fully ripe because bananas become higher in sugar content as they ripen, according to Dr. Avena. However, their starch and fiber mitigate blood sugar spikes.
Meghan has stuck with this healthy breakfast through the years, making only subtle changes. As royal biographers and authors of Finding Freedom, Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand, explained, Meghan’s morning features "her favourite breakfast of steel-cut oats (usually made with almond or soy milk) with bananas and agave syrup for sweetness" (via Hello! magazine).
A salad with protein is a classic midday energy charge-up for Meghan Markle
When Meghan Markle was a busy actress working on set, lunch would often be a salad topped with protein, she told Delish. And this is a great choice — as long as the dressing isn’t unhealthy, according to naturopathic doctor Alice Fong, who would recommend a tablespoon of olive oil plus some balsamic vinegar as a healthy alternative to heavy, creamy dressings.
Adding protein to salad is a great way of making a salad more filling and satisfying and a great way to hit multiple macronutrients in a single meal, according to Nicole Avena, nutrition expert and author of the book, What To Eat When You Want To Get Pregnant. Addressing whether this will continue to be a good lunch option for Meghan if she tries to conceive again, obstetrician Richard Richard Beyerlein told Health Digest that his only concern is that the salad veggies be thoroughly washed because they can potentially host a large collection of harmful bacteria.
Almond products are a part of Meghan Markle’s diet
The Duchess of Sussex is no doubt aware of the many health benefits of almonds. She told told Delish they were always part of her everyday routine while on set, and she enjoys them in all forms — from whole almonds to almond butter to almond milk. Also not surprisingly, the nutritional experts we consulted see almonds as a smart choice.
"All nuts and seeds are great, containing a combination of fat, protein and fiber that helps keep us full, according to registered dietitian Elisa Bremner. And almonds are a source of healthy fats and key vitamins and minerals such as vitamin E and magnesium, as Dr. Nicole Avena, nutrition expert and author of the book, What To Eat When You Want To Get Pregnant, told Health Digest. Naturopathic doctor Alice Fong‘s only caveat is that since almonds are calorically dense, it’s best to partake in moderation.
Meghan Markle likes to drink hot lemon water to stay hydrated
"How I feel is dictated by what I’m eating, how much rest I’m getting and how much water I’m drinking," Meghan Markle told journalist Melissa Greer in an interview with Best Health magazine. And she also has been known to enjoy a nice, hot cup of lemon water, she told Delish. Meghan has stuck with this habit. Royal biographers and authors of Finding Freedom, Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand, revealed that Meghan’s Morning ritual" begins with "a cup of hot water and a slice of lemon" (via Hello! magazine). This beverage is indeed a healthy one.
Water is, after all, the gold standard for human hydration, according to The Nutrition Source, and lemon juice is rich in vitamins (including vitamin C and folate) and minerals like potassium. It also boasts dietary fiber and phytonutrients, and is low in calories and carbohydrates. The fact that Meghan enjoys drinking her lemon water hot potentially makes it even healthier, according to Healthline, which noted that many people report that drinking hot water not only promotes better digestion but may also be relaxing, as compared with drinking cold water.
Meghan Markle includes a spot of tea in her diet
It’s no secret that Meghan Markle felt she never quite fit in with the British royal family as Elle detailed. However, one exception would have to be Meghan’s appreciation for a nice cup of tea. In fact, her first public appearance following "Megxit" was at an afternoon tea reception in the Commonwealth nation of Canada, according to Delish. Although there was no word on how she had her tea — black? Or maybe with a little milk, as is traditional in the U.K. – and no word on which tea she drank during the event, Meghan has been known to cite Kusmi Detox Tea and Teapigs Licorice & Peppermint tea as two of her favorites (via Hello! magazine).
Registered dietitian Kelly Springer thinks tea is a great choice for Meghan, particularly because it helps bring about mental alertness but without the jitters coffee can bring on. And it’s far better than soda, as far as pick-me-ups go, Springer told Health Digest, since it contains no added sugar or other sweetener.
Meghan Markle chooses green juice over coffee
With her busy schedule, it’s important for Meghan Markle to have a plan for when she finds her energy flagging. "It’s easy to fall into the trap of rushing for a coffee when you hit that 4 p.m. slump," she wrote in an article for Today. "But if I blend some apple, kale, spinach, lemon, and ginger in my Vitamix in the morning and bring it to work, I always find that sipping on that is a much better boost than a cup of espresso."
For best results, Meghan recommended playing around with green juice ingredients — like tossing in berries or adding almond milk. "At the end of the day," she wrote, "your body will thank you for nourishing it with so much fresh goodness." That said, Meghan views green juice more as a medicinal beverage than a delicious treat. "Green juice is a food-as-medicine philosophy for me," she told Delish.
Meghan Markle has "always loved watermelon"
"I have always loved watermelon and relish any opportunity to eat it, whether plain or diced up with feta and mint and tossed with a little olive oil," Meghan Markle wrote in an article for Today. "I try to always have a container of watermelon sprinkled with cinnamon because it elevates the flavor just a notch, and makes it feel special."
Registered dietitian Kelly Springer wholeheartedly endorses the Duchess of Sussex’s choice of watermelon, which is rich in antioxidants and is made up of about 90 percent water, which means it’s not just a nutritious food but it’s also extremely hydrating. Speaking to those antioxidants, clinical nutritionist and chiropractor Michael Evangel pointed out to Health Digest that watermelon is a good source of vitamin C — which helps build collagen, cartilage, bones, and blood vessels — as well as lycopene and beta carotene, which can help neutralize free radicals, improve heart and eye health, and are associated with a reduced risk of cancer.
Meghan Markle considers wine one of her vices
"At the end of a long day, there is nothing I enjoy more than a glass of wine," Meghan Markle wrote in an article for Today. In fact, her favorite wine is Tignanello, from which the name of her blog, The Tig, was adapted (via Delish). Speaking with Delish, Meghan labeled wine as one of her "vices." But referring to wine, particularly red wine, as a "vice" isn’t really telling the whole story, according to the nutrition experts we consulted.
Red wine is high in resveratrol, which has been shown to boost heart health and protect against some cancers, according to registered dietitian Kelly Springer, who also told Health Digest that wine can have a positive effect on our cholesterol by raising levels of HDL (the "good" kind). That being said, red wine should be enjoyed in moderation, according to registered dietitian Elisa Bremner, who pointed out to Health Digest that dietary guidelines consider wine to be "allowed," as opposed to "suggested."
Meghan Markle will eat french fries from time to time
Meghan Markle actually has two vices, she dished to Delish. One is wine. The other? French fries. "I could eat French fries all day," she told Best Health magazine. But aren’t french fries one of the unhealthiest things you can eat? They are, after all, number one on Healthline‘s list of foods to avoid when trying to lose weight. Additionally, a 2013 study published in the journal Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases found that "more frequent consumption of fried foods" was associated with a higher risk of developing obesity.
Yet and still, many nutrition experts don’t believe in shunning less-than-healthy foods. And while many people think of french fries as a "bad" food, plenty of nutritionists don’t exactly believe in the notion of "bad foods." For example, registered dietitian and health coach Cassie Christopher told Health Digest, "I think vilifying foods as bad or hated is not good because it perpetuates all or nothing thinking, which stops people from making progress because they’re too focused on perfection."