Mediterranean diet



It is therefore never too late to switch to a Mediterranean diet, but you should do it consistently. In order to achieve an “optimal” balance of unsaturated fatty acids, vegetables, fruits, legumes and whole grain products, the following foods should end up on the plate every day:

Fresh Herbs:
Aromatic herbs such as aniseed, Aleppo pepper, basil, chili, dill, tarragon, fennel, clove, chamomile, garlic, cumin, lavender, bay leaf, marjoram, sea salt, mint, nutmeg, oregano, parsley, pepper, allspice, rosemary, sage  sumac, thyme, zatar and cinnamon are essential to Mediterranean cuisine, with each region having different taste preferences. They reduce the need to add salt and have a range of antioxidants.

Vegetables are consumed in abundance in the Mediterranean diet. Fresh, seasonal products from the region should always be the focus. Garlic is an important part of Mediterranean cuisine. Dark leafy greens like kale and collards, wild greens like amaranth, arugula, nettle, chicory, and dandelion are always good choices in both cooked and raw dishes. Other vegetables are artichokes, eggplant, broccoli, peas, fennel, spring onions, cucumbers, carrots, pumpkin, leeks, chard, okra, peppers, mushrooms, purslane, radicchio, radishes, radishes, Brussels sprouts, beets, lettuce, cucumber, shallots, celery, spinach, sprouts, zucchini and onions.

Potatoes and Tubers:
Potatoes provide valuable nutrients. Sweet potatoes, potatoes, swede, turnips, and yams.

Fruits are also eaten in abundance and often served as “dessert”. Fruits common in the Mediterranean diet include apples, apricots, avocados, bananas, berries, pears, clementines, dates, figs, pomegranate, cherries, tangerines, melons, nectarines, oranges, peaches, stone fruit, tomatoes, grapes, grapes and lemons.

Nuts and Seeds:
Thanks to their triad of fiber, protein and fat, nuts and seeds are always eaten as a filling snack. The most popular nuts are cashews, chia seeds, peanuts, hazelnuts, pumpkin seeds, macadamia nuts, almonds, pine nuts, pistachios and walnuts. Seeds include flaxseed, pumpkin seeds, pine nuts, sunflower seeds. A common condiment is tahini, which is made from ground sesame seeds and is used primarily in hummus.

Legumes are real nutrient bombs. One of the most widespread legumes in the Mediterranean region is the chickpea, which is used in hummus, falafel, and salads. Broad beans, cannellini beans, chickpeas, kidney beans, black beans, peas, peanuts, and lentils are used for their high fiber and protein content.

Whole Grains:
Wheat is considered the main grain of the Mediterranean. But amaranth, buckwheat, oatmeal, corn, whole grain rice, polenta, quinoa, rye, whole grain bread and pasta are also recommended daily. Farro is one of the traditional grains in Italy. Another classic grain is bulgur, which is made from ground wheat and is used in pilafs and tabbouleh.

Fish and Seafood:
Fish and seafood are important ingredients. Fresh and canned seafood not only provide essential good fats but are also rich in proteins. Omega-3-rich fish such as tuna, sardines and salmon are often eaten fresh or canned. Mussels and shrimp, calamari, crab, crawfish, and squid. Popular fish include trout, cod, carp, redfish, plaice, and hake.

Meat and Poultry:
Meat is only consumed in moderate amounts in the Mediterranean diet and when it is eaten, it is mostly lean. It often comes from free-ranging animals, whose meat is naturally rich in vitamin B12. These include duck, rabbit, lamb, chicken, pork, sheep, turkey, quail, and goat.

Cheese, Dairy Products and Eggs:
Dairy products should be replaced with sheep and goat milk products whenever possible. Mediterranean cuisine offers a rich selection of cheeses. Sheep’s cheese, such as feta and Spanish Manchego or goat’s cheese, are healthy suppliers of protein and calcium, which is important for muscles and bones. Brie, Graviera, Greek yogurt, preferably unsweetened, are rich in healthy probiotics. Halloumi is known for its firm texture, mozzarella, mizithra and goat cheese. Hard cheeses like Pecorino Romano and Parmigiano-Reggiano are popular in Italian cuisine. Chicken, duck, and quail eggs.

Healthy Fats and Olives:
Olive oil, which consists of 75 percent mono-unsaturated fatty acids, is an important ingredient in Mediterranean cuisine. Olive oil reduces the risk of stroke and heart attack and allows blood sugar levels to rise slowly. Rich in antioxidants, polyphenols and heart-healthy fats, table olives are enjoyed as a simple snack or as a supplement. Furthermore, avocados and avocado oil, fish oil, nut butter, and tahini are preferred sources of fat.

Tomatoes, fresh or canned, whole, diced, steamed, or concentrated as a paste, are important everyday staples in the kitchen. They are found, for example, in the traditional, cold tomato soup gazpacho from Andalusia. Canned foods are particularly high in lycopene, which may help protect against certain types of cancer.

The Mediterranean diet recommends avoiding sweets on a daily basis, but allows for moderate consumption of traditional treats, often made with fruits, nuts, whole grains, and low sugar.

Coffee, tea and water, red wine in moderation.

There is little room for saturated fats, added sugars and sodium. It’s quality over quantity, so this diet motivates its users to make conscious decisions about from where the calories should come.

Processed foods: 
Such as meat or sausages.

Added sugars: 
Sweetened snacks, caramelized nuts, candy, and ice cream are often loaded with these additives, and yogurt often contains excessive amounts of added sugar.

Refined cereals: 
Pastries, cakes, muffins, ready-to-toast baked goods, frozen pancakes or waffles, some crackers and breads, sugary cereals, and dried fruits with added sugar (such as those found in commercial snack foods).

Dairy desserts:
Milkshakes and cream.

Red and Processed Meat: 
While red meat is allowed, it should be eaten less frequently than other proteins. Bacon, beef, ham, processed meats (chicken nuggets, fried meat, mechanically butchered poultry) and processed sausages.

Sauces, dressings, marinades, and spreads with concentrated sugars such as jam. 

Sweetened instant coffee drinks, fruit juices, soft drinks and sugary mixed alcohol drinks, lemonades, sports drinks, smoothies, fruit drinks and alcoholic drinks.



Mediterranean Diet Food List (click image):



The Mediterranean Diet Shopping List (click image):




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