Mediterranean Diet Guide – Food List, Meal Plan, Recipes

The Mediterranean diet, sometimes called MD for short, consistently ranks at the top of the best diets overall. This is because it is a comprehensive eating pattern that is packed with

The Mediterranean diet tops the charts because it’s affordable, accessible, delicious, and full of foods you probably already want to eat. Rather, it feels like joy.

Grilled Mediterranean

What is the Mediterranean Diet?

The Mediterranean diet is named after the sea it takes its name from and includes foods native to the countries bordering the Mediterranean: Greece, Italy, Spain, Morocco, Egypt and Lebanon.

Foods that come from the Mediterranean include many vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, and very little sugar, sodium, highly processed foods, refined carbohydrates, saturated fats, fats or processed meats. Basically, the Mediterranean diet is surprisingly effective because it naturally includes nutrient-rich plant-based foods and eliminates unhealthy additives.

The fact that MDs are flexible, accessible, and essentially perfect meal plans. We have created a healthier Mediterranean Diet Pyramid to replace the Food Pyramid.

And, last but not least, the Mediterranean diet is fun to eat. Shock,” co-author Samantha Cassetti said today.

A woman's hand holding a glass and making a toast.
Mediterranean cuisine includes wine.Getty Images

Potential Health Benefits of the Mediterranean Diet

The Mediterranean diet was developed because people living in countries bordering the Mediterranean tend to have lower levels of heart disease and live longer than Americans, and experts get a lot of credit for their diets. Researchers became interested in a Mediterranean-style diet in the 1950s. In 1992, it was introduced as a diet by the USDA to help Americans lower their cholesterol.

In addition to the general benefits of eating MD, there are also many benefits for certain segments of the population. It is suggested that it is possible. Another study shows that people at risk for metabolic disease can reduce blood cholesterol and boost digestive health by following a Mediterranean diet.

Additionally, the Mediterranean diet has proven to be very effective for those who want to manage or lose weight. We found an association between diet and lower levels of weight gain and less increase in waist circumference.

If that doesn’t convince you, a “green” Mediterranean diet that eliminates red meat has been shown to be very effective in reducing visceral fat. Visceral fat is dangerous to health because it surrounds and can damage organs.

But you don’t have to have health problems to adopt the Mediterranean diet. “It’s a healthy diet for just about everyone,” Karen Ansel, a New York-based registered dietitian and author of Healing Superfoods for Anti-Aging, told TODAY. They agree that a home can be one of the best ways to lose weight.

Foods to eat on a Mediterranean diet

The Mediterranean diet is as representative of the culture as the cuisine, so it is not what is allowed or avoided. It was the way People who had to rely on seasonal ingredients and care about budget and family health at the same time. They lead and include as many or as few Mediterranean dishes as possible.

Ancient grains like quinoa are part of the Mediterranean diet.
Ancient grains like quinoa are part of the Mediterranean diet. Getty Images

That said, these are the staple foods of the Mediterranean diet.

  • Fish — especially salmon, sardines, and tuna
  • Fresh produce — locally grown to ensure freshness
  • Healthy fats — nuts, avocados, olive oil, etc.
  • Lean dairy products — cheese, Greek yogurt, milk, etc.
  • Whole Grains — Try cereals, brown rice, whole wheat pasta, or ancient grains like quinoa, chia, amaranth, bulgur, and buckwheat
  • Wine — in moderation

mediterranean diet food pyramid

Rather than giving you rigid instructions, the Mediterranean Food Pyramid offers a great way to get an idea of ​​how you think about food. The foods that need to be included most often are at the bottom, and the foods that need to be included less frequently are at the top.

Mediterranean diet infographic pyramid.
Mediterranean diet food pyramid.Getty Images

The pyramid of Mediterranean cuisine is shown from bottom to top.

  • Fruits, vegetables, grains (mostly whole), olive oil, beans, nuts, legumes and seeds, herbs and spices: Eat these at every meal.
  • Seafood: Eat at least twice a week.
  • Chicken, Eggs, Cheese, Yogurt: Eat moderate amounts daily to weekly, depending on the food.
  • Meat and sweets: Eat only occasionally.
Mediterranean chickpea salad.
Mediterranean chickpea

Foods to avoid on the Mediterranean diet

No food is completely prohibited in the Mediterranean diet. But in general, you want to stick to eating foods with recognizable non-scientific names. about it.

Foods to avoid on the Mediterranean diet include:

  • Alcohol (other than wine)
  • butter
  • Highly processed foods — such as frozen foods with added sodium, soda, high-sugar drinks, candy, and processed cheese
  • Processed red meat — hot dogs, sausages, bacon, lunch meats, etc.
  • Refined grains — such as white bread, white pasta, or those made with white flour
  • Refined or processed oils – soybean, safflower, corn, vegetable, canola, hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils, etc.

mediterranean diet recipes

For more information on the Mediterranean diet, please see:

Bonnie Taub Dicks contributed.

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