110 Foods You Can Eat on a Mediterranean Diet

jhon pablo

The Mediterranean diet plan continues to be celebrated by nutritionists because it offers tons of health benefits. It’s also easy to follow and not very restrictive. After all, what’s not to like about a diet that lets you drink a little red wine? Plant-based foods are the focus on the […]

The Mediterranean diet plan continues to be celebrated by nutritionists because it offers tons of health benefits. It’s also easy to follow and not very restrictive. After all, what’s not to like about a diet that lets you drink a little red wine?

Plant-based foods are the focus on the Mediterranean diet, which is based on the eating habits of early 1960s Greece and Southern Italy, according to the Cleveland Clinic. The diet emphasizes fruits, vegetables, legumes, fish, nuts and olive oil, and limits sweets, red meat and processed foods.

Research shows that the Mediterranean diet helps reduce “bad” cholesterol levels and the risk of cardiovascular disease, including stroke and heart attack. It also helps reduce instances of obesity.

Not sure which foods you can eat on the diet? The good news is that, unlike with other diets, the Mediterranean diet has few restrictions. It’s more of a healthy eating lifestyle that allows you to enjoy many of your favorites.

 Mediterranean diet fish and seafood

Fish, especially varieties rich in omega-3 fatty acids, is a main protein source under the Mediterranean diet—just don’t batter and fry it. The goal is three, 3- to 4-ounce servings per week.

  1. Tuna. Canned or fresh, add it to salads or enjoy with a side of vegetables.
  2. Anchovies. Choose products canned in olive oil and see benefits from the fish and healthy fat.
  3. Sardines. Toss with pasta or blend into a salad dressing with olive oil and lemon juice.
  4. Mackerel. Enjoy as a swap for canned tuna.
  5. Herring. Smoked or pickled, add to salads or sandwiches.
  6. Salmon. Enjoy grilled with a side of vegetables, smoked or roasted.
  7. Trout. Grill for a lean, but rich source of protein and vitamin D.
  8. Cod. Enjoy grilled, steamed or baked for a low-calorie meal packed with nutrients.
  9. Barramundi. The sustainable white fish pairs well with citrus and olives.
  10. Sea bass. Serve it roasted, grilled or steamed.
  11. Shrimp. Sauté with garlic and olive oil, and toss with pasta.
  12. Crab. Add to a healthy seafood stew.
  13. Oysters. Enjoy fresh oysters with a squeeze of fresh lemon.
  14. Mussels. Steam with garlic and fresh herbs.
  15. Clams. Toss steamed clams with pasta and olive oil.
  16. Octopus. Grill it and serve with a drizzle of olive oil and lemon juice.

Related: 28 Seafood Classics That Never Tasted Better

Mediterranean diet vegetables

Nearly all vegetables can be enjoyed the Mediterranean diet, even the starchy ones like potatoes. Eat them raw or cooked. Steamed, roasted or sautéed in olive oil are the healthiest cooking methods. The Cleveland Clinic recommends having at least three servings of a cup of raw or half-cup of cooked vegetables a day.

  1. Tomatoes
  2. Kale
  3. Spinach
  4. Arugula
  5. Collard greens
  6. Swiss chard
  7. Celery
  8. Broccoli
  9. Cauliflower
  10. Carrots
  11. Brussel sprouts
  12. Cucumbers
  13. Green Beans
  14. Eggplant
  15. Zucchini
  16. Squash
  17. Onions
  18. Scallions
  19. Shallots
  20. Garlic
  21. Bell pepper
  22. Mushrooms
  23. Artichokes
  24. Cabbage
  25. Fennel
  26. Leeks
  27. Asparagus
  28. Potatoes
  29. Sweet potatoes
  30. Turnips
  31. Yams
  32. Beets

Mediterranean diet fruits

Fruits are another key part of the Mediterranean diet’s plant-based focus, and really none are off limits. Fresh fruit is best, since it’s packed with vitamins, antioxidants and other nutrients. You should aim to eat three servings of a half-cup to a cup each day. 

  1. Apples
  2. Pears
  3. Bananas
  4. Oranges
  5. Clementines
  6. Lemons
  7. Limes
  8. Grapefruit
  9. Grapes
  10. Dates
  11. Figs
  12. Cantaloupe
  13. Melon
  14. Peaches
  15. Apricots
  16. Plums
  17. Pomegranate
  18. Strawberries
  19. Blueberries
  20. Raspberries
  21. Blackberries
  22. Cherries
  23. Avocados

Related: How to Buy Avocados Like a Boss

Mediterranean diet nuts and seeds

Nuts and seeds offer heart-healthy fats and are rich in protein, vitamins and minerals. On the Mediterranean diet, aim for three servings a week of seeds and nuts, about three-quarters of a cup, or 2 tablespoons of nut and seed butters. Enjoy nuts and seeds raw, or add them to salads, yogurt or any other dish. Just choose raw, unsalted or dry roasted ones when you can. 

  1. Almonds
  2. Walnuts
  3. Macadamia nuts
  4. Hazelnuts
  5. Cashews
  6. Pistachios
  7. Pine nuts
  8. Sesame seeds
  9. Sunflower seeds
  10. Pumpkin seeds

Mediterranean diet legumes

Beans, peas and lentils are a strong source of plant-based protein, as well as potassium, iron and other nutrients. Eating three half-cup servings a week should be your goal on the Mediterranean diet. Beans, peas and lentils are versatile: add them to soups or salads, make bean burgers or blend into hummus or dip.

  1. Beans. Cannellini, fava, white and kidney are just a few varieties that can be added to soups and salads.
  2. Peas. Add to pastas or mix in fresh herbs for a delicious side.
  3. Lentils. Toss into soups and salads for extra protein.
  4. Chickpeas. Blend with tahini to make hummus.

Mediterranean diet whole grains

Unlike many fad diets, you can eat carbs on the Mediterranean diet. Just opt for whole, minimally processed grains, including bread, pasta and cereal, along with oats, barley, quinoa and brown rice. Three to six servings a day is a good goal, which can be broken out as a half cup of cooked grains, a slice of bread or ounce of dry cereal, according to the Cleveland Clinic.

  1. Whole oats. Add in lots of fresh fruit and a drizzle of honey.
  2. Brown rice. Stir fry with your favorite vegetables.
  3. Barley. Add barley into soups; it pairs especially well with mushrooms.
  4. Bulgur. Toss into a salad with roasted veggies and olive oil.
  5. Buckwheat. Use buckwheat flour to make pancakes or muffins, or eat the grains in salad or soups.
  6. Corn. Eat it straight off the cob, grill it or sauté in olive oil.
  7. Whole-grain bread. Mash avocado on a slice or pile on your favorite veggies for a healthy lunch.
  8. Pita bread. Spread with hummus and wrap around your favorite veggies or fish.
  9. Pasta. Mix with shrimp and veggies, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with fresh herbs.
  10. Couscous. The versatile tiny pasta takes on any flavor you put with it, so load it up with vegetables.
  11. Farro. Make a salad with olives and lemon juice.
  12. Quinoa. Create a healthy grain bowl, with nuts, seeds and veggies.

Mediterranean diet meat

The Mediterranean diet focuses on plant-based protein and fish, but poultry can also be included. Choose skinless white meat most of the time, especially when it’s baked, broiled or grilled. Limit eating beef, pork or lamb.

  1. Chicken
  2. Duck
  3. Cornish game hens
  4. Turkey

Mediterranean diet cheese and other dairy

Cheeses, eggs, milk and other low-fat dairy products are included in the Mediterranean diet. Choose fat-free or 1% milk options, and try not to eat more than three servings a week. Avoid whole milk and cream.

  1. Cheese. Feta, brie, chevre, parmesan, ricotta, manchengo, haloumi and labneh are some healthy options, and there’s no end to the dishes you can add cheese to.
  2. Greek yogurt. Top with fresh fruit and nuts.
  3. Eggs. Scramble with fresh veggies and herbs.
  4. Milk. Choose low-fat or fat-free varieties.

Healthy fats on the Mediterranean diet

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.

  1. Extra virgin olive oil. Use it to sauté vegetables and fish, or drizzle on salads and pasta.
  2. Avocado oil. Mix into a salad dressing, add to smoothies or drizzle over bowls of soup.

Other Mediterranean diet foods

  1. Olives. Eat them alone as a snack, or chop up and toss into salads or pastas.
  2. Honey. Drizzle on fruit and yogurt, or blend into a salad dressing. But, avoid most other sweeteners, including refined sugar.
  3. Red wine. Drinking red wine in moderation—meaning no more than a glass or two—can improve heart health.

Find out how you can drink wine and keep your waistline.

Source Article

Next Post

Home: Department of Family & Community Medicine: Feinberg School of Medicine: Northwestern University

Why Choose Family Medicine? Family medicine physicians provide comprehensive, continuous healthcare to all members of the family throughout the course of their lives. By building relationships based on communication and respect, these physicians gain a deeper understanding of the whole person, including the range of physical, emotional and socioeconomic factors […]