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Mediterranean Diet Food List 2020

What About Other Popular Diets

Mediterranean diet tops list of best diets for 2020 l GMA

You may have heard about popular diets like paleo, ketogenic , Atkins, interval, zone and Whole30. Keep in mind, not all trendy diets meet the AHAs science-based criteria for a healthy eating pattern. Some show dramatic but short-term results and are not heart-healthy.

DASH, or Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, is another eating plan that aligns with AHA recommendations and has been proven to improve health. The DASH diet allows more dairy products and meat, while the Mediterranean diet includes regular use of olive oil.

Mediterranean Diet Food List

What is the Mediterranean diet food list? Here is a rundown of whats typically allowed versus not allowed while following this diet plan:


Allowed in Moderation:

  • High-quality dairy: Is milk allowed on the Mediterranean diet? In moderation, high-quality dairy like goat milk, healthy cheese and probiotic-rich kefir or yogurt are included.
  • Poultry and eggs: Opt for organic and pasture-raised poultry and eggs as healthy protein sources.
  • Red meat: Red meat is consumed on special occasions in small amounts. Options include grass-fed lean cuts of red meat like lamb, which is a popular Mediterranean food, and beef, but high-fat meats like bacon and sausage should be avoided.
  • Alcohol: One type of alcohol commonly consumed in moderation on this diet is red wine. This is an alcohol source with well-known red wine health benefits, but its certainly not a must or a reason to start drinking if you currently refrain from alcohol. One glass of red wine with dinner is common if approved by your doctor. Drinking purple grape juice in small amounts is sometimes consumed as an alternative to wine.

Not Allowed:

Mediterranean Diet Food List Conclusion

  • Before making a Mediterranean diet shopping list, dont forget to familiarize yourself with whats an approved or healthy choice on this diet as well as what should be avoided.
  • Popular healthy options youll see on a Mediterranean diet food pyramid include fresh fruits and veggies, healthy fats like olive oil, wild-caught fish, legumes, nuts, seeds, grass-fed meats and high-quality dairy like goats milk and yogurt.
  • The acceptable food options can easily fit your personal needs with some tweaking.
  • Mediterranean diet foods to avoid include high fat/processed meats, refined sugars, refined grains, refined oils, processed/fast foods and trans fats.
  • Following a Mediterranean way of eating is truly an enjoyable experience that encourages whole, fresh, healthy foods that are delicious and satisfying, making it a diet that is easy to stick with and has been scientifically shown to have incredible health benefits when done right.

Recommended Reading: What Is The Paleo Diet Plan

Dining Out On A Mediterranean Diet

If you’re heading to a Mediterranean restaurant, chances are they will have plenty of appropriate options for you to choose from. Here are a few tips for staying consistent with the eating pattern while dining out:

  • Start with a salad
  • Choose fish or seafood as your main
  • Request extra veggies on the side
  • Opt for non-starchy vegetables like dark leafy greens
  • Ask for whole grain bread or pita instead of white varieties
  • Use olive oil instead of butter
  • Stay hydrated with water or sparkling water throughout your meal
  • Go for a walk after dinner with a loved one

Following A Mediterranean Diet

Mediterranean diet: Facts, benefits, and tips in 2020

Refined grains. These are usually found in ‘white’ foods .

Refined oils. These include vegetable, canola, soybean, corn and safflower oils, plus margarine or other ‘butter replacement’ spreads.

Sugary foods, like candy, cakes and soda.

Processed meat, like hot dogs and deli meats.

Processed convenience foods. A good way to look at it is that the foods in a Meditteranean diet shouldn’t be full of ingredients – they should BE the ingredients!

Now you know what to avoid, here are some of the foods you should be eating.

Also Check: Dr Gundry Lectin Free Diet

A Complete Mediterranean Diet Food List

A Mediterranean kitchen is packed with fresh produce, lean proteins, seafood and healthy fats. Here are some delicious ingredients that you might find useful when stocking your kitchen to add Mediterranean flavor to every meal.


Plant-based foods like vegetables and fruits are a strong foundation of the Mediterranean diet. They offer a hefty dose of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber and more which makes them nutrient-dense choices since they contain a high amount of nutrients for a relatively low amount of calories. Plus, it’s been well established in research that increased fruit and vegetable intake can prevent chronic disease and promote longevity. But only about 10% of Americans meet the recommended fruit and vegetable intake guidelines.

Aim for at least 5 servings a day of produce daily, or about 2 servings of fruit and 3 servings of vegetables. A serving of vegetables is ½ cup of cooked vegetables or 1 cup of raw vegetables. Our experts recommend prioritizing non-starchy vegetables like dark leafy greens, bell peppers and broccoli among others. Starchy options like potatoes can be enjoyed in moderation on a Mediterranean diet. A serving of fruit is about 1 medium sized piece of whole fruit or 1/2 cup fresh, frozen or canned. Some of the best nutrient-dense fruits include berries, apples, peaches and pears.

Legumes, Nuts & Grains

  • Yellow split peas

Herbs, Spices and Condiments

Mediterranean Diet Food List For Weight Loss

Its no fun putting out with biology geeks but, it seems, i was wrong!

so, a bit meat can surely turn out to be putrefying within our colon.

If you devour egg whites, for example, some of which could putrefy, too.

Hydrogen sulfide is the rotten egg gasoline that, over and above its objectionable odor, can provide modifications inside the colon that growth cancer risk.

The protein does greater than just putrefy, although.

An impact so powerful that Ornish and colleagues appeared able to opposite the development of prostate cancer without chemo, surgical treatment, or radiation

mainly, the ones primarily based on animal assets, while vegetable-based totally low-carb diets are associated with a lower threat of death.

But, theres in no way been a study like thattill now. 6,000 women and men over age 50, from across the U.S.A, were followed for 18 years, and people below age 65 with excessive protein consumption had a 75% increase within ordinary mortality and a fourfold boom in the chance of demise from most cancers.

These institutions had been either abolished or attenuated if the proteins have been plant-derived.

The sponsoring college sent out a press launch with a memorable commencing line:

Almost everybody goes to have a most cancers cell or pre-cancerous cellular within them in some unspecified time in the future.

That may rely upon what we eat.

Not the invention that animal protein might be killing people, however the manner they were telling human beings about it

Also Check: Low Carb High Protien Diet

Supports Healthy Blood Sugar Levels

The Mediterranean diet encourages a variety of nutrient-dense foods, including fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and heart-healthy fats.

As such, following this eating pattern may help stabilize blood sugar levels and protect against type 2 diabetes .

Interestingly, multiple studies have found that the Mediterranean diet can reduce fasting blood sugar levels and improve levels of hemoglobin A1C, a marker used to measure long-term blood sugar control .

The Mediterranean diet has also been shown to decrease insulin resistance, a condition that impairs the bodys ability to use insulin to regulate blood sugar levels effectively .

The Complete Mediterranean Diet Food List

What I Eat in a Day – Mediterranean Diet – February 2020 – Greece edition

The Mediterranean diet is one of the healthiest diets in the world. It is also not just about eating healthy foods, but also about enjoying them. This diet includes a variety of delicious and nutritious foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, seafood, olive oil, and more.

Weve compiled this Mediterranean diet food list with over 100 of the most common and available foods in the Mediterranean Diet. If youre looking to incorporate more healthy foods into your diet, this list is a perfect resource for you.

Read Also: Zero Sugar Vs Diet Soda

What Is The Mediterranean Diet

Very simply put the Mediterranean diet is a way of eating based on the traditional foods and eating patterns of the people and countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea.

And those of us who grew up in that part of the world, including myself, do not refer to it as a “diet” in that sense of the word.

It is not a restrictive or a structured diet. It is simply a healthy, well-balanced eating pattern that focuses on: fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, and legumes lean proteins from fish and poultry good fats from olive oil and some dairy.

At it’s core, it is a joyful way of eating that keeps a focus on flavor, sharing, and the pleasure of the table. And you can totally see that by glancing at the list of Mediterranean diet recipes below!

Mediterranean Diet Fish And Seafood

Fish, especially varieties rich in omega-3 fatty acids, is a main protein source under the Mediterranean dietjust dont batter and fry it. The goal is three, 3- to 4-ounce servings per week.

  • Tuna. Canned or fresh, add it to salads or enjoy with a side of vegetables.
  • Anchovies. Choose products canned in olive oil and see benefits from the fish and healthy fat.
  • Sardines. Toss with pasta or blend into a salad dressing with olive oil and lemon juice.
  • Mackerel. Enjoy as a swap for canned tuna.
  • Herring. Smoked or pickled, add to salads or sandwiches.
  • Salmon. Enjoy grilled with a side of vegetables, smoked or roasted.
  • Trout. Grill for a lean, but rich source of protein and vitamin D.
  • Cod. Enjoy grilled, steamed or baked for a low-calorie meal packed with nutrients.
  • Barramundi. The sustainable white fish pairs well with citrus and olives.
  • Sea bass. Serve it roasted, grilled or steamed.
  • Shrimp. Sauté with garlic and olive oil, and toss with pasta.
  • Crab. Add to a healthy seafood stew.
  • Oysters. Enjoy fresh oysters with a squeeze of fresh lemon.
  • Mussels. Steam with garlic and fresh herbs.
  • Clams. Toss steamed clams with pasta and olive oil.
  • Grill it and serve with a drizzle of olive oil and lemon juice.
  • Related: 28 Seafood Classics That Never Tasted Better

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    Healthy Fats For Everyone

    The list of Mediterranean diet fatsis short because it consists of extra virgin olive oil. This one is the corner-stone ingredient in the Mediterranean diet with amazing health benefits. You can read our article here. We rarely have the need for other fats. This healthy fat really is savory and pairs nicely with just about anything.

    Eat Well To Lower Your Cholesterol

    Mediterranean Diet Versus Macrobiotic Diet

    Basing your diet on the foods people eat in the Mediterranean is a great way to look after your heart.

    We have known for some time that people living in countries along the Mediterranean appear to have less heart disease than people living in the UK and northern Europe.

    Health professionals now believe that this may be partly due to the foods that make up the traditional Mediterranean way of eating.

    The Mediterranean diet is high in vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, beans, cereals, grains, fish and unsaturated fats such as olive oil. It usually includes a low intake of meat and dairy foods. This is now seen as a good way of eating both for a healthy heart and for general well-being.

    The UKs own eat well guide is made up of similar foods and in similar amounts.

    Recommended Reading: Kylie Jenner Weight Loss Diet

    Bread A Humble Ingredient But An Authentic Delight

    Try a piece of toast from an artisanal bread with just some olive oil. You can add crushed tomato paste and salt or Iberico ham .

    Moreover, we never throw away the previous dayâs bread. Mediterranean diets emphasize re-using leftover food to create delicious dishes such is the case with migas de pastor, breadcrumbs traditional eaten by shepherds, but now considered a delicacy that you can found in restaurants. During Easter, make torrijas. You can also use the hard bread crumbs for the famous croquetas .


    Breadsticks are a cool paring with cheese or Iberico ham to share with family or friends. You can widely eat them especially in the South of Spain. They are made with extra-virgin olive oil, sesame seeds, wheat flour, and salt. A crunchy and fun bite!

    + Top Mediterranean Diet Recipes

    This post may contain affiliate links.

    Ready to start eating the world’s healthiest and most delicious diet? This list of Mediterranean diet recipes is your ticket! Flavor-packed recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, soups, sandwiches and everything in between. Plus a few tips for how to follow the Mediterranean diet.

    Voted the best diet to follow for several years in a row, the Mediterranean diet is also one the of easiest, most sensible diets to follow.

    If you’re new to eating the Mediterranean way, let’s cover a few basics before we get to our list of Mediterranean diet recipes.

    Also Check: Recipes For South Beach Diet

    What Is The Mediterranean Diet Food List

    Foods to eat on the Mediterranean Diet include:

    • Plant foods that are minimally processed, seasonally fresh, and locally grown
    • Aim for three servings of fresh fruit daily
    • Poached or fresh fruit is best
  • Have a salad with each meal
  • Add an extra serving of vegetables to lunch and dinner
  • Aim for three to four servings a day
  • Dense, chewy, country-style whole grain bread loaves without added sugar or butter
  • Extra virgin olive oil is the main source of fat
  • Cheese and low-fat yogurt
  • May be eaten daily in low to moderate amounts
  • Plain Greek yogurt is recommended
  • Two to three servings a week.
  • Canned and fresh fish are fine
  • Prepare grilled avoid fried fish
  • Eaten a few times a week in low to moderate amounts
  • 3- to 4-ounce portions
  • Sweets containing added sugars or honey should only be eaten a few times per week
  • Wine with meals in low to moderate amounts
  • No more than two 5-ounce glasses per day for men, and one glass per day for women
  • Red meat is consumed infrequently and only in small amounts. When red meat is consumed it is best to use it as a condiment, mixed with plenty of vegetables such as in stir-fries and soups.

    Avoid sugary beverages and sugary desserts.

    What Can You Eat On The Mediterranean Diet

    Is the Mediterranean Diet the Healthiest Diet? | Eat Smarter | Dietitian Q& A

    If you’re wondering, “what should I eat on the Mediterranean diet?” Here’s a quick summary:

    – Eat MORE: fruits, veggies, whole grains, beans, nuts, and legumes.

    – Eat MODERATELY: Lean proteins from fish and some poultry.

    – Eat LESS: Red Meats and Sweets

    – Use quality Extra virgin olive oil regularly. Our favorites are: Early Harvest extra virgin olive oil and Greek Private Reserve extra virgin olive oil

    – For Flavor: Reduce salt and use more fresh herbs, garlic, citrus, and spices.

    I recently chatted with Director of Nutrition at Oldways Kelly Toups, MLA, RD, LDN, and asked her my burning question: “If you were to list just 5 essential Mediterranean Diet foods, what would they be?”

    Here they are…

    Also Check: Keto Diet Pros And Cons

    Local Fruits & Vegetables

    Foods that are grown locally dont have to travel as far, which means they can be picked at peak freshness for maximum nutrition. Buckingham recommends shopping in season when possible, and looking for produce that is grown locally. Farmers markets are a good bet, and many grocery stores also feature local produce. Buckingham recommends seven to 10 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. It sounds like a lot but she notes that meals are mostly plant-based, so youll find you have more room for vegetables if you arent filling up on meat.

    Give Your Diet & Shopping Cart A Mediterranean Makeover

    Youve probably heard that a plant-based diet like the Mediterranean diet is a great place to start if youre looking to improve your nutrition. But maybe youre a little unsure about what that means and what you should actually buy.

    One of the basics of the Mediterranean diet is to prepare meals from good, whole foods and then take the time to sit down and really enjoy it, said Bonnie Buckingham, a dietitian at Samaritan Weight Management Institute. You want to buy food that is in a relatively natural state and spend less time looking at nutrition labels. Buckingham offers insights to help transform your shopping cart.

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    Dont Miss Herbs And Spices

    Garlic, smoked paprika, basil, rosemary, nutmeg, cinnamon, pepper, anis, oregano, cumin, thyme, and fennel are the most popular herbs and spices to find in a Mediterranean kitchen.

    They are a healthy and easy way to enhance the flavor of the natural and non-processed foods.Dont forget to add aromatic herbs that grow wildly on the Mediterranean lands.

    One of the secrets for making a tasty Mediterranean dish is the sofrito. The most common version consists of chopped garlic and onion slowly fried in extra-virgin olive oil.

    Sofrito is used as a starting base for cooking many homemade dishes. In the same way you can find paella, any traditional stews like cocido madrileño, fabada and also albondigas , or even the filling for the Galician empanada.

    Smoked paprika is a very special ingredient. This one is used to cook the Galician octopus and one of the main ingredients in chorizo. But you can also find it in many delicious traditional Spanish dishes. You can read the beautiful story about it here.

    You May Also Like To Read:

    Mediterranean diet in 2020

    *Special thanks to Kelly Toups, MLA, RD, LDN, Director of Nutrition at Oldways. Oldways is a nonprot dedicated to improving public health by inspiring individuals and organizations to embrace the healthy, sustainable joys of the old ways of eatingheritage-based diets high in taste, nourishment, sustainability, and joy. Kelly holds a BS in nutrition from the University of Texas, where she completed her dietetic internship, and also holds a masters degree in Gastronomy from Boston University, with a concentration in food policy. She has been with Oldways since 2014.

    *This post originally appeared on The Mediterranean Dish in 2019 and has been updated with more information for readers’ benefit. Readers assume full responsibility for consulting a qualified health professional regarding health conditions or concerns before starting a health program, new way of eating, or diet.

    Read Also: Keto Diet To Lose Weight Fast

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