Canned And Dried Beans
Legumes are a major source of protein in the Mediterranean diet. They are eaten simply on their own and also paired with diverse other ingredients to add heft and texture.
- For salads, quicker-cooking soups, and sautes, canned beans work just as well as or even better than dried they hold their shape nicely and dont require soaking or extended cooking.
- Use dried beans in recipes where the cooking of the beans builds body and flavor in the dish. Brining dried beans helps them to hold their shape during cooking and results in fewer blown-out beans.
What Are The Main Foods In A Mediterranean Diet
- Fruits – Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, dates, figs, apples, oranges, pears, pomegranate, passion fruit, kiwis, avocados, etc
- Vegetables – Peppers, aubergines, courgettes, tomatoes, spinach, garlic, sweet potatoes, potatoes, carrots, beans, broccoli, etc
- Wholegrains – Wholegrain bread, brown rice, buckwheat, quinoa, bulgar wheat, whole oats, etc
- Legumes – Beans, lentils, chickpeas
- Unsalted and unsweetened nuts – Cashews, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts,walnuts,pistachios, etc
- Seeds – Pumpkin, chia, sunflower, poppy, sesame, etc
- Extra virgin olive oil and olives
These are the everyday foods you can enjoy as part of the Mediterranean diet. So be sure to incorporate them into your daily meals. Other foods are permitted, but these should be eaten less frequently.
Enjoy once or twice a week:
- Fish – Salmon, tuna, cod, haddock, plaice, seabass, white fish, etc
- Shellfish – Prawns, crab, lobster, mussels, oysters, scallops, etc
- Poultry – Chicken, turkey, duck, quail, etc
- Cheese – Feta, brie, cottage cheese, ricotta, etc
Restrict to once or twice a month:
- Red meat – Beef, lamb, pork, veal, venison, etc
One of the benefits of the Mediterranean diet is that it is something which can be enjoyed by the whole family. So you dont need to worry about preparing different dishes for everyone.
Nutritional therapist Anna says: Include lots of colourful vegetables and fruits high in fibre, such as spinach, peppers, tomatoes and garlic, as well as seafood, fish and poultry.
Cheeses Cured Meats And Nuts
A little cheese , cured meat , or nuts goes a long wayin adding rich flavor to Mediterranean dishes.
For example, Paniscia, a regional Italian risotto, is flavored with bits of salami, and many pastas and vegetable salads rely on a little nutty Parmesan to boost savory flavor.
Nuts are common additions to salads and are also an essential element of the North African seasoning blend dukkah.
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Can You Lose Weight On The Mediterranean Diet
Following the Mediterranean diet has been shown as a good way to lose weight and is considered to be a healthy plan to follow.
Nutritional therapist Anna Mapson, who runs Goodness Me Nutrition, says: The fats in the Mediterranean diet are healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated, which are associated with a healthy cardiovascular state. The restriction of red meat can also help colon health, as high intakes of red processed meats are associated with cardiovascular disease and colon cancer.
Followers also find it to be less restrictive than other diets such as intermittent fasting plans like the 16:8 diet or the 5:2 diet.
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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Green Leafy Vegetables Like Spinach And Kale Onions And Eggplant
If you want to reap the benefits of a diet thats full of healthy foods, then add more green leafy fibrous vegetables like spinach and kale, onions, and eggplant. All these items are on the Mediterranean diet grocery list.
Research has shown that people who follow this kind of eating pattern live longer than those who dont. It also reduces their risk for cancer and heart disease.
Theyre less likely to be overweight or obese too because it is low in calories and fats while high in nutrients like potassium, magnesium, folate , iron, calcium vitamin K1-3 among others.
Its also been found that people with type 2 diabetes can lower their blood sugar levels by following such a diet plan.
How To Make Grocery Shopping Simple For The Healthiest Diet In The World
- Whole grains: rich in fiber and B Vitamins, whole grains are a staple of the Mediterranean Diet.
- Beans, nuts, and legumes: provide a variety of healthy fats, fiber, plant-based protein, and essential vitamins and minerals. Nuts ARE a healthy snack to munch on throughout the day!
- Fruits and vegetables: from dark leafy greens, to fresh picked berries, theres no debate that fruits and vegetables should be the heart of our plate. Did you know buying frozen instead of fresh, or those that are in season can help to save you money?
- Healthy fats: found in almost every dish of the Mediterranean Diet, extra virgin olive oil is key, but weve added a few other healthy fat options to add to your list! Check out some of our sauces and dressing recipes for some inspiration.
- Herbs and spices: skip the salt and add more flavor to your meals throughout the week!
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Spices Spice Blends And Pastes
The flavor combinations vary, but spices are often what make one Mediterranean cuisine distinct from another.
Many of the spices used in Mediterranean cooking are probably already in your pantry, like cinnamon, paprika , and saffron.
There are also a number of spices that may be unfamiliar to you, such as sumac, which adds a floral, tangy flavor to recipes, and Aleppo pepper, which lends subtle heat to dishes.
- Spice blends and pastes also add potent flavor: Theres North African ras el hanout, which can include some 25 spices, seeds, dried flowers, berries, and nuts zaatar, a popular eastern Mediterranean blend that consists of wild thyme, sumac, sesame seeds, and salt and is used as both a seasoning and a condiment and harissa, a North African chili paste made with hot and/or mild chiles, garlic, and oil and often cumin, coriander, and caraway. You can buy these and other spice blends, but if you cant find them you can make your own at home.
- Storing your spices out of the light and heat will extend their shelf life. Check for freshness by observing the aroma and color of your spices. When buying spices, brand makes a difference. Some of our favorites are Penzeys Extra Fancy Vietnamese Cassia Cinnamon, The Spice House Hungarian Sweet Paprika, Simply Organic Smoked Paprika, and Morton & Bassett Saffron Threads.
Mediterranean Diet Shopping List: Is This The Best Way To Lose Weight
We all love sunshine and good food, and Mediterranean countries certainly have both. But what they seem to also have is better health than their American or British cousins. But why is that? For over 2 decades dietitians have put this down to their healthy eating habits and a good amount of physical activity. So, why not be more Mediterranean and improve your health and lose weight using our Mediterranean diet shopping list?
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What Foods Do You Eat Following A Mediterranean Diet
Now, to the important part. Lily explains that the Mediterranean diet is rich in plant-based foods such as whole-grains, beans, pulses, fruit and vegetables, and high in olive oil as an important fat source’. It also includes moderate amounts of fish, low to moderate amounts of dairy products, and low amounts of meat.
Like a glass of vin rouge come Friday? Youre in luck: the Med diet advocates enjoying certain types of alcohol in moderation, like red wine. Just make sure not to go OTT and drink more than one or two servings per day for women and men respectively.
Foods To Eat In Moderation On The Mediterranean Diet
The food groups above make up the foundation of a Mediterranean Diet. But the eating plan also includes moderate portions of poultry, eggs, and dairy . So what does moderate mean? That varies depending on your personal preference. You might choose to consume very small portions of dairy daily or eat larger amounts on a weekly basis.
Although optional, red wine is traditionally enjoyed daily by Mediterranean eaters. Just stick to one 5-ounce glass per day if you’re a woman and no more than two glasses per day if you’re a man, according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020-2025.
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The Mediterranean Diet 101
If you are looking for the healthiest diet on the planet, then the Mediterranean diet might be it.
After reading this post you are going to learn:
- What foods are included Mediterranean Diet,
- A simple Mediterranean diet shopping list, and
- The health benefits of eating the Mediterranean diet.
Lets dive right in.
Although we are doctors and personal trainers, we are not your doctors. The content on this site is for informational purposes only and should not substitute the advice from your healthcare professional. All kinds of exercise and dietary activities are potentially dangerous, and those who do not seek counsel from the appropriate health care authority assume the liability of any damage or injury which may occur. Please read our full Disclaimer for more information. Also, this post may contain affiliate links: meaning we may receive a commission if you use them.
Okay, lets get started.
Fresh Fruits And Veggies
Fresh, locally sourced, seasonal produce takes center stage in the Mediterranean diet eating pattern. Dark leafy greens such as kale, chard, beet greens, mustard greens and collard greens are often added to frittatas, beans and lentil soups. Wild greens like rocket, chicory and dandelion are also popular in both cooked and raw dishes. You can include basically any vegetable you prefer, like artichokes, beets, broccoli, cucumber, eggplant, mushrooms, radishes and onions. Garlic, in particular, is a mainstay in many recipes it’s used as a versatile flavor agent in everything from sauces and soups to grain dishes .
Fruits common to the Mediterranean diet include apples, apricots, avocados, berries, citrus, dates, figs, grapes, stone fruit and pomegranate. Lemons are often used to squeeze over fish, veggies, soups and beans for a fresh finish.
Pictured recipe:Greek Cauliflower Rice Bowls with Grilled Chicken
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Fresh Herbs And Spices
Aromatic herbs and spices are great ways to up the flavor of your meals without adding more salt or sugar. These plant-based seasoning agents reduce the need for to add excess salt, plus they provide health-promoting antioxidants. There are so many spices that can add complex layers of flavor, the world is your oyster. Choose ones you like and will use regularly, whether that’s coriander, cumin, oregano or cinnamon. Use fresh herbs like basil to make homemade pesto, or a bunch of parsley to form the base of a zesty gremolata.
How To Start A Mediterranean Diet
Alright, now letâs go over how to follow a Mediterranean diet.
Keep in mind that there is no one way to follow a Mediterranean lifestyle.
Thatâs what makes this diet so great. You can take these guidelines and tailor the diet to whatever you want it to be.
1) First things first, you should base almost every meal with some type of vegetable
Start off with leafy greens such as spinach, kale, arugula, and chard. Then you can include broccoli, carrots, onions, peppers, cauliflower and everything else in between.
Buy plenty of vegetables. They are the perfect side dish because they go with anything and everything.
Dont like how vegetables taste? Then sautÃ© them with herbs and spices.
2) The next thing you want to do is buy plenty of healthy fat.
Olive oil, Avocado oil, coconut oil, all of the various nuts and kinds of nut butter, avocados, and all types of seeds.
These are going to be your toppings and your snacks.
One of the easiest things you can do is drizzle olive oil onto your meal to give it a little extra flavor and a lot of nutrition.
3) The last component of the diet is your protein and carbohydrate sources
For animal sources of protein, get a varied assortment of fatty fish, which you will consume at least twice a week, and lean poultry which you will consume in small quantities.
For plant-based sources, use high protein legumes such as lentils, green split peas, and garbanzos.
4) Feel free to use dairy products at your discretion.
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Lowering The Risk Of Cardiovascular Disease
Evidence suggests that a Mediterranean diet may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. A study that featured in The New England Journal of Medicine compared two Mediterranean diets with a control diet for almost 5 years.
The research suggested that the diet reduced the risk of cardiovascular issues, including stroke, heart attack, and death, by about 30 percent compared with the control group.
More studies are necessary to determine whether lifestyle factors, such as more physical activity and extended social support systems, are partly responsible for the lower incidence of heart disease in Mediterranean countries than in the United States.
Do I Really Need To Drink Wine
This is completely up to you.
There are many purported benefits to drinking 1 glass of red wine with a meal on a regular basis. This is why its part of the diet.
These benefits include:
- Lowering your post-meal blood sugar
- Increasing your good cholesterol
It is recommended that you drink red wine instead of white wine, as the ruddier version has more antioxidants than its paler counterpart.
But you should only drink a glass of wine with your meal if you have the willpower to stick to only 1 glass. Drinking more than this can pile on unnecessary extra calories and start causing negative effects. These can be in the form of increasing the risk of liver disease and stomach ulcers.
Its important to note that there is no safe level of drinking alcohol. 1 glass of wine with your meal is considered low risk, even taking into account the benefits its supposed to have.
So, its up to you whether you include wine as part of the diet or not.
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Nuts Like Almonds Walnuts Pecans
Nuts are among the most nutritious foods. One ounce of almonds, for example, provides about 160 calories and 14 grams of fat , as well as significant amounts of protein, fiber, vitamins E and B6, magnesium and potassium.
They also contain healthy fats that may help lower cholesterol levels. So if youre looking for a satisfying snack that wont send your blood sugar soaring or your diet veering off-track nutty is the way to go!
Mediterranean Diet Meal Planning
Solid preparation, and knowing which Mediterranean diet foods to buy and stock your pantry with, is the key to succeeding in this lifestyle.
Since there is no one standard Mediterranean diet, there is no single right way to follow it.
Foods and eating styles included in the diet vary among the different countries and cultures it is based on, so there are only commonly suggested foods and cuisines.
You can adjust what you eat on the Mediterranean diet to best suit your individual needs.
The diets pyramid offers guidelines for suggested weekly servings of food groups a useful tool when meal planning and to help ensure youre staying on the right track.
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What To Shop For On The Mediterranean Diet
Get Started Eating Healthy on the Mediterranean Diet
If the Mediterranean diet is very different from how you have been eating, I HIGHLY recommend you follow a meal plan that has already been designed to help you lose weight and improve your health. The 30 Day Mediterranean Meal Plan I created includes everything you need to get started on the Mediterranean diet. It includes over80easy and deliciousrecipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks that you can simply follow along to and enjoy all the delicious flavors that come with the Mediterranean diet.
Once I learned how to eat a balanced Mediterranean diet, I quickly saw success in my own weight loss journey and lost 20 pounds in just 3 months! By having an understanding of what my own body needed each day, I was able to set myself up for success and have kept the weight off for over a year! You can read my full story here.
I want this for you too! If you are ready to ditch the diet struggle, successfully lose weight, and fully benefit from the Mediterranean diet, I urge you to get started with my 30-day meal plan now while its the lowest price it will ever be!
Mediterranean Diet Shopping List Breakdown
It is always a good idea to shop at the perimeter of the store, thats usually where the whole foods are found.
Always try to choose the least processed option. Organic is best, but only if you can easily afford it.
- Vegetables: Carrots, onions, broccoli, spinach, kale, garlic, etc.
- Fruits: Apples, bananas, oranges, grapes, etc.
- Berries: Strawberries, blueberries, etc.
- Frozen vegetables: Choose mixes with healthy vegetables.
- Grains: Whole grain bread, whole grain pasta, etc.
- Legumes: Lentils, pulses, beans, etc.
- Nuts: Almonds, walnuts, cashwes, etc.
- Spices: pepper, turmeric, cinnamon, basil etc.
- Fish: Salmon, sardines, mackarel, trout, shrimp etc
- Potatoes and Sweet Potatoes.
- Extra virgin olive oil.
There are plenty of other budget-friendly diet changes you can make too.
It is best to clear all unhealthy temptations from your home, including sodas, ice cream, candy, pastries, white bread, crackers and all sorts of processed foods.
If you only have good food in your home, you will eat good food.
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