Relying on tasty dishes made with tomatoes and olive oil, the Mediterranean diet has grown in popularity because of its health benefits and delicious variety. Here is a Mediterranean diet grocery list to get you started.
Classic Mediterranean Dish
Recent studies (see The New England Journal of Medicine) have shown that typical diets eaten in the Mediterranean region reduce the risk of heart disease and strokes as well as Alzheimer’s. Noted for its resveratrol content, which may stave off heart disease, red wine in moderation is a tasty part of the diet.
Some great dishes to make from the following ingredients include chicken souvlaki, pasta salad, Mediterranean shrimp, stuffed tomatoes, basmati, chicken focaccia, tuna linguine, and many more.
Staples of the diet include:
- Plant-based foods
- Whole grains
- Healthy oils (instead of butter)
- Herbs and spices (instead of salt)
- Limited red meat
- Red wine
Rely primarily on fresh and low-salt veggies. Here are popular veggies in Mediterranean cooking:
- Green beans
Any vegetable or fruit is acceptable on the diet; just remember to eat a variety to get the broadest range of nutrients.
Legumes, Nuts, and Seeds
Beans of all types are popular in many Mediterranean dishes, and hummus falls into this category. So save room for white beans, lentils, and chickpeas. These are rich in fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants. Olives are also prominent in the diet and are loaded with healthy fat, and nuts make a great snack.
Wheat pastas are the most widely consumed grain in the Mediterranean diet, but you can incorporate others as well. Here are some of the grains with the most fiber and nutrients:
- Whole-grain cereal
- Brown rice
Of course, extra virgin olive oil is the primary fat eaten in the Mediterranean diet, and its flavor and health benefits make it deservedly so. Other popular fats with similar health benefits include:
- Grape seed
- Seeds and nuts
As the primary nutrient needed for cellular growth and repair, protein plays a prominent role in any diet. Seafood and poultry are more prominent in Mediterranean cooking than beef, but a limited amount of red meat may be eaten on the diet. Eat eggs occasionally as well. Limit consumption of fatty dairy products.
Herbs and Spices
Mediterranean dishes often call for the following ingredients to add flavor to any dish: