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Mediterranean Diet List Of Foods

How To Shop For The Mediterranean Diet

Fit Facts: Benefits of a Mediterranean Diet

Like any successful grocery store visit, having a shopping list is key. It helps us stick to our plan, saves money and reduces the temptation to throw less-healthy food in our cart because of a promotion. You’ve probably heard the advice to shop in the perimeter of the grocery store because that is where fresh produce, seafood, eggs, dairy and meat tend to be located. Still, there are a lot of good choices in the inner aisles as well! In the middle aisles, you’ll find canned and dried beans, frozen fruit and vegetables, whole grains like oatmeal and quinoa as well as nuts and nut butter, olive oil, olives and canned seafood. To stay on track, avoid going to the store hungry, shop with a plan and only go down the necessary aisles to get the food on your list to avoid extra add-on items.

  • Fish, including canned and frozen fish
  • Beans and lentils
  • Fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables
  • Whole grains, like oatmeal, quinoa, whole-wheat pasta and brown rice
  • Red wine, in moderation
  • Nuts, seeds and nut butters

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.

    Here Are Some Foods To Avoid On The Mediterranean Diet:

    • Heavily processed food like frozen meals with added sodium, soda, high-sugar beverages, candy and processed cheese
    • Processed red meats like hot dogs, sausage, bacon and lunch meats
    • Refined grains like white bread, white pasta or anything with white flour
    • Refined or processed oils like soybean oil, safflower oil, corn oil, vegetable oil, canola oil and any hydrogenated or partially-hydrogenated oils

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    What Is The Mediterranean Diet

    Numerous studies have shown that folks from countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea live longer and have less incidence of heart disease, cancer, and other chronic diseases compared to Americans. Based on these studies, the Mediterranean Diet was created to mimic the eating patterns of these countries . However, because there are numerous countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea , the diet isn’t structured, but more of an eating pattern as is outlined in the where fish and fruit are eaten in higher amounts compared to a traditional U.S. diet. Because the Mediterranean Sea is the center of these countries, fish is a main source of protein for all the countries, and many dishes also feature whole grains, healthy fats , nuts, seeds, and lots of fruits and vegetables. Red wine is recommended, in moderation, of course, and staying physically active is part of the lifestyle.

    It May Help Balance The Gut Microbiome

    Mediterranean Diet Versus Macrobiotic Diet

    The composition of your diet has a huge impact on your gut microbiome, and fiber is a preferred food for our gut microbes, explains Porpora.

    Related Story

    The abundance of fiber-rich foods in the Mediterranean diet means feeding all of those good gut microbes and increasing the diversity of beneficial bacteria in your digestive system. These good microbes produce short-chain fatty acids, which can cut down on inflammation, support immunity, support our gut lining, regulate metabolism, and more.

    Especially compared to a standard western diet, the composition of meals in a Mediterranean Diet is so much better for our gut, says Porpora.

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    A Detailed Mediterranean Diet Food List

    On the Mediterranean diet, youll rely heavily on the following foods and limit those that are processed. Examples of processed foods include cold cuts and sausage , salty packaged snacks like potato chips and crackers, and prepared sweets like cookies, cake, and candy.

    You may choose to drink a little red wine and eat some dark chocolate.

    While you dont have to count calories on the Mediterranean diet, weve included nutrition information for the following foods for your reference.

    Are Any Foods Prohibited

    No, the diet does not totally eliminate any foods or food groups.

    Some foods though are encouraged sparingly on the diet, desserts, butter, heavily processed foods like frozen meals and candy and refined grains and oils.

    U.S. News and World Report describes the diet as leaving “little room for the saturated fat, added sugars and sodium that inundate the standard American diet.”

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    What You Should Do Next

    1. If youd like to try the Mediterranean diet plan, get a free 7 day Mediterranean Diet plan (including 20 recipes, a corresponding meal plan and shopping list.

    2. If you are serious about starting a Mediterranean diet, check out Med in 28 plan, which helps build healthy Mediterranean eating habits in 28 days.

    3. If youre looking to start cooking Mediterranean recipesor need some inspirationthen .

    Potential Health Benefits Of The Mediterranean Diet

    Intro to Mediterranean Diet – Mediterranean Foods List

    The Mediterranean diet was developed because people who live in countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea tend to have lower levels of heart disease and live longer than Americans, and experts believe that their diet may get a lot of credit for that. Researchers became interested in Mediterranean-style eating in the 1950s. In 1992, it was introduced as a diet by the U.S.D.A. in order to help Americans lower their cholesterol.

    Besides the general benefits of eating the MD, there are also many boons for specific segments of the population. Recent research suggests that pregnant women can lower their risk of developing high blood pressure by eating a Mediterranean diet. Another study shows that people at risk for metabolic disease could reduce their blood cholesterol and boost their digestive health by following a Mediterranean diet.

    Plus, the Mediterranean diet has proven to be quite effective for people who want to manage or lose weight. One study analyzed the diets of more than 32,000 Italians over the course of 12 years and found an association between the Mediterranean diet and lower levels of weight gain and a lower increase in waist circumference.

    In case that isn’t enough to convince you, the “green” Mediterranean diet which excludes red meat has been shown to be extremely effective at reducing visceral fat. Visceral fat is dangerous for our health because it surrounds and can damage organs.

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    How Do You Start The Mediterranean Diet

    The Mediterranean diet doesn’t ban any food groups, which makes it easier to follow than diets that eliminate multiple foods or food groups.

    The 2015-2020 dietary guidelines provide an overview of which foods to eat each day, including:

    • lots of fresh herbs and spices

    Smaller amounts of red meat and sweets are fine to have, and only two milk and dairy servings are recommended per day, which is less than the U.S. style eating pattern. Red wine is also encouraged in moderation, with a maximum of one serving per day for women and two servings per day for men. One serving of wine is defined at 5 fluid ounces.

    The cost of following the Mediterranean Diet depends on how you follow it. Of course, you can find extra-virgin olive oil, nuts, and fish to be expensive, but you can also pick up these foods in bulk or on sale to help cut costs. You can also opt to spend $60 on a nice bottle of red wine, or just $20, and you can spend your fruit and vegetable dollars on seasonal produce, which is more reasonably priced.

    RELATED: you’ll actually look forward to eating.

    Top Foods To Add To Your Grocery List

    • Extra virgin olive oil
    • Beans: chickpeas, lentils, split peas, cannellini
    • Dairy: tzatziki, feta, Romano, low-fat yogurt
    • Fish: salmon, tuna, mackerel
    • Vegetables: cucumber, onion, garlic, tomato, zucchini, spinach, eggplant, kale, mushrooms, olives
    • Fresh herbs: oregano, dill, mint, basil, parsley, zaatar

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    Mediterranean Diet Food List: What To Eat And What To Avoid On This Diet

  • The Bottom Line
  • As far as diets go, the Mediterranean diet is one of the most well-researched and proven effective. This diet is based on the traditional foods and lifestyle of people living in countries along the Mediterranean Sea. There are many benefits associated with following a Mediterranean diet, including a lower risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and stroke . The diet has also been shown to help improve cognitive function and memory, and reduce the risk of Alzheimers and Parkinsons diseases . If youre interested in trying out the Mediterranean diet, knowing exactly what to eat and what to avoid is crucial for success. This Mediterranean diet food list will help you get started on the healthy eating plan.

    S To Getting Started With The Mediterranean Diet

    Mediterranean Diet Benefits

    Embracing the Med Diet is all about making some simple but profound changes in the way you eat today, tomorrow, and for the rest of your life.

  • Eat lots of vegetables. From a simple plate of sliced fresh tomatoes drizzled with olive oil and crumbled feta cheese to stunning salads, garlicky greens, fragrant soups and stews, healthy pizzas, or oven-roasted medleys, vegetables are vitally important to the fresh tastes and delicious avors of the Med Diet.
  • Change the way you think about meat. If you eat meat, have smaller amounts small strips of sirloin in a vegetable sauté, or a dish of pasta garnished with diced prosciutto.
  • Enjoy some dairy products. Eat Greek or plain yogurt, and try smaller amounts of a variety of cheeses.
  • Eat seafood twice a week. Fish such as tuna, herring, salmon, and sardines are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, and shellsh including mussels, oysters, and clams have similar benets for brain and heart health.
  • Cook a vegetarian meal one night a week. Build meals around beans, whole grains, and vegetables, and heighten the avor with fragrant herbs and spices. Down the road, try two nights per week.
  • Use good fats. Include sources of healthy fats in daily meals, especially extra-virgin olive oil, nuts, peanuts, sunower seeds, olives, and avocados.
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    Mediterranean Diet Food List Printable Pdf

    This Mediterranean diet food list is available as a PDF file, and I recommend printing it out and putting it on your fridge. You will always have inspiration to eat these healthy foods whenever you go into the fridge.

    If youre looking for recipes to make with these foods, check out our extensive collection of Mediterranean Diet Recipes.

    That Being Said These Are The Central Foods In The Mediterranean Diet:

    • Fish especially salmon, sardines, and tuna
    • Fresh produce use whats locally grown to ensure freshness
    • Healthy fats like nuts, avocado and olive oil
    • Lean dairy like cheese, Greek yogurt and milk
    • Whole grains try cereals, brown rice and whole-wheat pasta or ancient grains like quinoa, chia, amaranth, bulgar and buckwheat
    • Wine in moderation

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    Tips And Recipes With Anti

    The ultimate goal of this diet is to eliminate all inflammatory foods, and to feel great! To do that, we need to inspire! What do meals look like? Here are some tips and recipes:


    • For breakfast: Make oatmeal or overnight oats more often I eat it everyday! Experiment with no sweetener on it, or very little. Have a little protein on the side: one egg or a homemade meat patty.
    • At lunch: Eat a salad with green lettuces, or make lettuce wraps, both with: peeled cucumbers, hummus and leftover protein from a recent dinner.
    • For dinners: Make more stir fries, using coconut aminos and fresh ginger. Serve with brown rice or another grain on the Yes list that you tolerate well. Make simple soups with great quality Meat Stock.
    • Dont over-complicate this: Yes, you can have a steak, salad and baked potato for dinner! If potatoes dont agree with you, sub with rice. Yes, you can have a big roasted chicken, sauteed green beans and homemade rolls for dinner! Enjoy meat, carbs and veggies. Use condiments like coconut aminos or homemade applesauce. Enjoy simple homemade healthy foods.


    • Vitamin D orally Consider light instead

    Healthy Fats On The Mediterranean Diet

    Mediterranean Diet: Everything You Need To Know

    Extra virgin olive oil is a staple of the Mediterranean diet. Aim for adding 1 tablespoon, but no more than four, to your daily diet. Other plant-based oils, like avocado oil, are also acceptable, but avoid butter and other animal fats.

  • Extra virgin olive oil. Use it to sauté vegetables and fish, or drizzle on salads and pasta.
  • Avocado oil. Mix into a salad dressing, add to smoothies or drizzle over bowls of soup.
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    Mediterranean Diet Food List: 5 Foods You Need

    This post may contain affiliate links.

    Not sure where to start with the Mediterranean diet? This expert Mediterranean diet food list is your answer! This list of 5 essential foods comes from Director of Nutrition at Oldways, Kelly Toups, MLA, RD, LDN. It’s so simple to follow, and be sure to grab our shopping list and browse our growing list of Mediterranean diet recipes here.

    Aside from the fact that it’s the easiest diet to follow, the main reason the Mediterranean diet is ranked the #1 overall healthy diet is because it is the most sensible, wholesome and nutritionally sound diet you’ll find.

    A List Of The 100+ Best Foods To Eat On The Mediterranean Diet

    The Mediterranean diet is more popular today than ever before and for good reason. Not only has the diet been ranked as number one for the past five years in a row by the U.S. News & World Report, but researchers have been studying the diet for over half a century and continue to find tremendous benefits . The real reason why the diet has gained such a following is that it’s packed with high-quality, delicious foods that make healthy eating enjoyable and satisfying.

    The approach focuses on an abundance of healthy, anti-inflammatory foods and doesn’t cut out any major food groups. Its no wonder that Ikaria, an island in Greece, and Sardinia, an island in Italy, have both been designated as two of the five Blue Zones of the world where people live the longest. Read on to learn more about how to follow the diet, including a full Mediterranean diet food list and a sample 7-day plan to kick start your healthy eating journey.

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    Regularity Pooping Daily And Avoiding Constipation

    Key for detoxing, foods and toxins need to move through the body daily.

    For this reason, foods high in fiber can be very helpful, foods like oatmeal, small amounts of psyllium husk, berries and beans.

    Every body is different, so each of us have to figure out what works best.

    Read Natural Constipation Solutions and Remedies here for more specifics. Or, begin experimenting with varying amounts of fiber foods at different meals.

    Also consider omitting foods that can worsen constipation, foods like: white rice, white flour bread products, dairy and too much meat without enough fiber to balance it.

    Healthy Fats Like Extra Virgin Olive Oil And More

    Mediterranean Food Diet, Mediterranean Diet Foods, Mediterranean Diet ...

    The Mediterranean diet is a balanced way of eating that includes healthy fats known as Omega 3 Fatty Acids. These healthy fats are important for keeping your body healthy and functioning properly. Some of these healthiest fats include Omega-3 fatty acids, monounsaturated fats, and polyunsaturated fats. These fats can help improve your mood, cognitive function, and heart health.

    Olives are a common ingredient in the Mediterranean diet. The most common type of fat used in this diet is extra virgin olive oil. Extra virgin olive oil is high in monounsaturated fats, which are known for their health benefits. Some of these benefits include reducing the risk of heart disease and improving cholesterol levels.

    Nuts and seeds are also excellent sources of healthy fats and protein. They are a wonderful way to get energy and along with whole grains. Some of the healthiest nuts and seeds include almonds, walnuts, cashews, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and chia seeds. All of these provide a variety of vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats.

    Avocados are another excellent source of healthy fats. This fruit is high in monounsaturated fats, which can help improve cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease. Avocados are also a reliable source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

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    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

    Meat & Seafood

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