The Mediterranean Diet: Benefits and Food List

mediterranean diet

Interested in the Mediterranean Diet? Here’s some helpful info on its benefits and how to incorporate it into your life!

The Mediterranean diet often emerges as one of the most popular types of diets to follow due to its results and the life longevity of those who come from the Mediterranean. Individuals receive Mediterranean diet benefits in many different ways depending on the types of foods consumed. This Mediterranean diet food list can be considered suggestions to follow and should be discussed with a medical professional if they are major diet changes.

The Mediterranean diet food list:

When it comes to following a Mediterranean diet, preparing for your meals is very important. Decide what you’re going to make before going to the super market and potentially buying things that you don’t need. Later on we will give you some possible meal options and here are the foods that you should be consuming on a regular basis are as follows:

  • Fatty fish
    • Salmon, tuna, sardines
  • Seafood in general
    • Shrimp, clams, mussels, oysters, crab
  • Olive oil – extra virgin
    • Also avocado and olives
  • Vegetables
    • Tomatoes, broccoli, Spanish, onion, cauliflower, cucumbers
  • Fruit
    • Apples, bananas, oranges, pears, strawberries, grapes, dates, figs and melons
  • Nuts
    • Almonds, walnuts, macadamia, cashews
  • Seeds
    • Pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds
  • Legumes
    • Beans, lentils, chickpeas
  • Potatoes
    • Sweet potatoes, yams
  • Whole grains
    • Whole oats, brown rice, barley, corn, whole wheat, whole wheat pasta
  • Herbs and spices
    • Garlic, basil, mint, rosemary, cinnamon, nutmeg

Foods that should be eaten in the Mediterranean diet but in moderation are as follows:

  • Poultry
  • Eggs
  • Cheese
  • Yogurt

Red meat can be consumed in the Mediterranean diet but should be consumed rarely.

Foods that are not included in the Mediterranean diet and should not be consumed are:

  • Drinks that contain a lot of sugar
    • Soda
    • Sweet tea
    • Juice
  • Added sugars to foods
    • Ice cream
    • Table sugar
    • Candy
  • Processed meats
    • Sausages
    • Hot dogs
    • Bologna
    • Packaged meats
  • Foods with trans fats
    • This can be found in margarine
  • Grains that are refined
    • This can be considered white bread and refined wheat pasta
  • Oils that are refined
    • These can be considered soybean oil, canola oil and others
  • Any type of processed food
    • Anything that looks like it could have been made in a factory or that is considered “diet” food

When it comes to beverages, the Mediterranean diet benefits you through drinking water when you’re thirsty. Other promoted drinks in the Mediterranean diet are red wine, coffee and tea. This doesn’t mean that you should be drinking copious amounts of red wine but a glass a day is good. When drinking coffee and tea they should be as natural as possible without large amounts of added sugars.

Mediterranean diet daily meal ideas:

If you would like to try following the Mediterranean diet but are unsure of how to start trying following this simple Mediterranean diet food list throughout the week:

Breakfast options:

  • Greek yogurt with fruit
  • Oatmeal with raisins
  • Bread with tomato puree
  • Omelet with vegetables

Lunch options:

  • Baked chicken with vegetables
  • Sandwich of whole grain bread
  • Whole wheat pasta
  • Omelet of potatoes and egg

Dinner options:

  • Grilled beef or chicken with vegetables
  • Pizza made of whole wheat crust
  • Lamb with a baked potato
  • Salmon with vegetables and brown rice
  • Lasagna
  • Salad with tuna and olives

At the end of the day, everything should be eaten in moderation. Trying fruit for desert instead of sweets is important as well as portion size during meals. This type of diet is high in healthy plants and low in meats with an interest in seafood. There are various countries that follow their own versions of the Mediterranean diet but they all have a similar base. You can find many options for recipe ideas online and trying them out will help you decide whether the Mediterranean diet is for you!

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