Foods that are Allowed and Prohibited in the Mediterranean Diet
It’s debatable which foods fit in the Mediterranean diet, partially because there are differences between countries. Most studies looked at a diet high in nutritious plant foods and limited in animal products and meat.
However, consuming fish and seafood at least twice a week is recommended. Everyday physical activity, sharing your meals with others, and reducing stress are all part of the Mediterranean lifestyle.
Fresh, frozen, dry, and canned vegetables and fruit can all be used, but check the package labels for any added sugar and sodium.
3.1 Foods that are Allowed
Your diet should ideally consist of the following healthy Mediterranean foods:
- Vegetables include tomatoes, kale, broccoli, spinach, cauliflower, onions, carrots, cucumbers, Brussels sprouts, and others.
- Fruits include apples, oranges, bananas, pears, grapes, strawberries, dates, melons, figs, and peaches.
- Nuts and seeds such as almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, macadamia nuts, sunflower seeds, cashews, pumpkin seeds, and others.
- Beans, lentils, peas, peanuts, pulses, chickpeas, and other legumes are all good sources of protein.
- Tubers such as potatoes, turnips, sweet potatoes, yams, and others.
- Whole oats, rye, brown rice, barley, whole wheat, corn, whole grain bread, buckwheat, and pasta are examples of whole grains.
- Among the seafood are salmon, trout, sardines, tuna, mackerel, crab, oysters, shrimp, clams, mussels, and other shellfish.
- Chicken, turkey, duck, and other poultry are examples of poultry.
- Eggs from chickens, ducks, and quail.
- Dairy items such as yogurt, cheese, Greek yogurt, and others
- Other herbs and spices include garlic, mint, basil, rosemary, nutmeg, sage, pepper, cinnamon, and others.
- Healthy fats like extra virgin olive oil, avocados, olives, and avocado oil.
Eating whole, single-ingredient foods is the key to optimal health.
3.2 Foods that are not Allowed
Avoid the foods and ingredients listed below:
- Sugar-added products such as soda, ice cream, candy, table sugar, and a variety of other foods.
- Refined grains include white bread, refined wheat pasta, and other refined grains.
- Trans fats are found in margarine and other processed foods, which is not allowed.
- Other refined oils include soybean oil, cottonseed oil, canola oil, and others.
- Sausages and hot dogs are examples of processed meat.
- “Low-fat” or “diet” foods, as well as those that appear to have been created in a factory, are examples of highly processed foods.
Read food labels carefully if you wish to avoid these harmful compounds.