Top 10 Mediterranean Diet Food List – A Beginner’s Guide

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Top 10 Mediterranean Diet Food List - A Beginner's Guide
Top 10 Mediterranean Diet Food List - A Beginner's Guide

Mediterranean food is a healthy way of eating and it is a common saying that goes around the restaurateur culture. Mediterranean cuisine is a blend of numerous cultures and the traditions each of them follows. People claim it to be an art as it is not something that involves rare exotic ingredients but is about the way how it’s prepared and served. Typical ingredients involving the cuisine are a specialty of certain countries and are used in substantially higher amounts. The Mediterranean diet food list contains an amalgamation of a variety of nutrients. The Mediterranean lifestyle is having a balance between fat, proteins, and carbohydrates.

The Mediterranean Diet Food List

Mediterranean Diet Food List

The Mediterranean diet list of food contains freshly grown organic products that are beneficial to one’s health. Spreading its reach from Greece all the way to France and Spain it is a vast variety of cuisine and is reaching out to the Far East. The people prefer to have light meals complemented with a drink, generally wine.

The basic idea of Mediterranean cuisine is to eat in limited quantities at balanced time intervals. It consists of a variety of food ingredients all freshly grown in organic farms. Including seafood, poultry, eggs, cheese, yogurt, and freshly grown vegetables is a must. Consuming red meat with legumes, herbs, potatoes, and extra virgin olive oil balances the flavor and nutritional value of the food. Fruit recipes generally make up the desserts. The diet excludes food involving high sugary products like candy bars, flavored soda and cakes, and pastries.

Every ingredient is judiciously selected and is used to its best possible extent. Some ingredients that have a particular focus on the cuisine are:

  1. Vegetable

    It is an eminent source of minerals and essential vitamins. There is nothing such as excessive consumption of vegetables and can be eaten liberally. Due to its health properties, it’s a rich source of nutrients, making it indispensable in any cuisine across the world. Must add vegetables to the Mediterranean diet list of food are:

    • potatoes, mushrooms, cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, celery leaves, beets, spinach, cabbage, romaine lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, onions, eggplants, cucumbers, green beans, okras, zucchini, garlic, peas, and you can add even frozen ingredients like spinach, peas, or green beans.
  2. Fruit

    Similar to veggies an abundance of fruits doesn’t harm. The Mediterranean cuisines avoid sweets for desserts instead it prefers fresh juicy fruits. It is a sublime source of minerals and antioxidants. It can be included at the end of every meal. Here is some favorite Mediterranean fruit type:

    • oranges, lemons, apples, tangerines, cherries, pears, cantaloupe melons, watermelons, figs, apricots, and peaches.
  3. Fishes And Seafood

    Fishes And Seafood

    It is of paramount importance in the Mediterranean diet food list and is cooked on a regular basis. Seafood is a great source of proteins and is rich in Omega 3 and other vital nutrients. Some fishes that can be included in the diet are:

    • salmon, tuna, herring, mackerel, trout, cod, and anchovies or sardines (you can also use canned fishes). And other seafood like crab, lobster, oyster, shrimp, octopus, calamari, and squid.
  4. Grains And Nuts

    In contrast to the seafood, grains and nuts are a vegetarian alternative to protein supply. Nuts and seeds are good for health but should not be consumed recklessly. It has heat properties and should be eaten in small quantities. Some of them include:

    • tahini, almonds, walnuts, pine nuts, pistachios, sesame seeds, whole wheat, rye, barley, corn, macadamia nuts, and hazelnuts.
  5. Dairy

    A certain amount of fat is needed to balance body heat and muscles’ nutrition. Making dairy a part of the Mediterranean diet food list is essential. Dairy products like processed cheese should be ignored, instead, real cheese such as Mozzarella, Feta, Graviera, Mizithra, Parmesan, Ricotta should be taken with meals. Strained (Greek) yogurt is exceptionally imperative for breakfast. Or if you are lucky you can use fresh Sheep’s milk yogurt.

  6. Healthy Fats

    Healthy Fats

    As much as any other nutrient, fats are equally important. Choosing the right oil for cooking is a big deal. Conclusively, extra virgin olive oil is a valuable asset in Mediterranean cuisine. Other options could be eggs, coconut, coconuts oil, or avocado and granola oil.

  7. Herbs And Condiments

    Freshly grown dried spices and herbs are a great means of adding flavor to the food. The meat tastes better when cooked with herbs and mixed with a little number of spices:

    • parsley, saffron, thyme, rosemary, basil, sage, rosemary, oregano, sage, za’atar, sumac, ground allspice, cilantro, or some basic like garlic, cinnamon, chili, and pepper are good additions to the Mediterranean herb list.
  8. Poultry

    Consumption of meat is a good recourse in one’s diet. Peculiar meats include chicken, duck, geese, turkey, and quail. Moreover, adding eggs to the meal particularly during breakfast is a good practice.

  9. Meat

    Eating red meat such as beef, lamb and pork should be a rarity and avoided as much as possible. It has high amounts of trans fats and is an unhealthy option. These meats are rarely used in Mediterranean cuisine. When you have a craving for a slice of red meat you should go for a typical American burger or steak.

  10. Bread

    The bread can be eaten and is a great fit for many snacks and dinner meals or even to lunch meals. Because French, Italian, Spain, and Greek culture are used to eat it as side-dish. But do not eat white bread – avoid it! Instead of white bread try much healthier alternative homemade Mediterranean olive bread, flatbread, chickpea bread, or focaccia. 

Mediterranean cuisine is an assortment of freshness. Every dish is a coalescence of traditions and exotic ingredients. It can be rightly said that “the Mediterranean cuisine is inevitable without wine”. There are primarily three types of wine viz. Red, White, and Rosé. Each has its own significance and distinct flavors depending on the process it has undergone. All wines complement a certain variety of dishes. Some of the exquisite variants of wines are Sangiovese, Merlot, Chardonnay, Cabernet Shiraz, Zinfandel, and Chenin Sauvignon Blanc. In contrast, one should not overdo the alcohol part. Though it’s uncommonly healthy, excess intake could be harmful.

What To Drink

If you want to try the Mediterranean diet you should be ok with plain water because it will be the number one to go. The positive side (not for everybody) that the diet includes around 1 glass of red wine per day. You can enjoy it during your lunch or dinner. If you know that you have a problem with alcohol or alcoholism itself then it is preferable to skip the wine and substitute it with water instead. However, only you know if you want to include the red wine in your meal plan. The next options for “what to drink” choices are coffee and tea, but avoid the sugar as much as possible.

The beverages which contain a high amount of sugar should be avoided. For example soft drinks, milkshakes, alcohol, and fruit juices.

Mediterranean Snacks For

Mediterranean Snacks

If you are not able to survive only with 3 meal portions per day, then you would need a healthy Mediterranean snack. There are plenty of choices to choose from. One of the most preferable options is to take a small portion of leftovers from your breakfast, lunch, or dinner meal. If there aren’t any, then you have for example these possibilities: hummus with cucumber and carrot sticks, a piece of fruit or vegetable, some nuts, Greek yogurt with fruit, or just apple with almond butter.

Example of One Week Mediterranean Meal Plan

Example of One Week Mediterranean Meal Plan

A Mediterranean diet plan should be solid and include all the important ingredients. Here is an example of what could a weekly plan pertaining to Mediterranean diet food list be like:

  1. Day 1
    1. Breakfast: Greek yogurt with berries and nuts.
    2. Lunch: Tuna salad with an extra virgin olive oil dressing.
    3. Dinner: Cheese sandwich with fresh fruits.
  2. Day 2:
    1. Breakfast: Omelette with veggies and tomatoes.
    2. Lunch: Lasagne.
    3. Dinner: Grilled salmon and baked potato.
  3. Day 3:
    1. Breakfast: Oatmeal with raisins and white yogurt (or fresh milk).
    2. Lunch: Whole wheat pizza.
    3. Dinner: Caesar salad with chicken.
  4. Day 4:
    1. Breakfast: Yogurt with fruits and nuts.
    2. Lunch: Fried anchovies with tomatoes.
    3. Dinner: Grilled lamb and fruits.
  5. Day 5:
    1. Breakfast: Omelette with bread.
    2. Lunch: Oysters and spaghetti in arrabbiata sauce.
    3. Dinner: Watermelon and feta cheese salad.
  6. Day 6:
    1. Breakfast: Eggs and boiled vegetables.
    2. Lunch: Grilled duck with fruits.
    3. Dinner: Greek salad in olive oil + bread.
  7. Day 7:
    1. Breakfast: Eggs and avocado with bread.
    2. Lunch: Cheese bruschetta with tomatoes.
    3. Dinner: Broiled lobster chips with fruits.

You can find the exact recipe for the meal on the Internet. This menu should serve you like an idea of what to cook and what to eat if you want to try the Mediterranean diet. Conclusively, if someone is looking to stay healthy and be in perfect shape inducing the Mediterranean diet list of food lifestyle is imperative and of utmost benefits.