The Mediterranean Diet: Food Resources For Beginners

The Mediterranean Diet: Food Resources For Beginners

Mediterranean diet food is recommended not only for weight loss, but for a healthy life in general. Knowing which foods qualify for this diet is important, so you may want to check several resources before getting started.

Mediterranean Diet Food Pyramid

Even though it seems similar to the classic food pyramid, the Mediterranean diet food pyramid has certain particularities. The main difference is the fact that plant foods are grouped on a single level – the base of the pyramid. Hence, the most important foods in this diet include:

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Grains
  • Nuts
  • Legumes
  • Seeds
  • Olive oil
  • Olives

Fish and shellfish, the foods from the second level, need to be consumed at least twice per week. Poultry, eggs, and dairy products represent the third level, and along with wine, must be consumed in moderation. Meats and sweets are on the final level, as well as on the classic food pyramid.

Mediterranean Diet Recipes

The recipes commonly found in a Mediterranean diet are based on minimally processed ingredients. More than that, seasonally fresh and locally grown ingredients are found in the majority of the recipes. Running out of ideas when you follow the Mediterranean diet is unlikely. The recipes are numerous, and in addition, they differ from one Mediterranean country to another.

Most recipes that need to be cooked with oil contain olive oil. This monounsaturated fat is rich in antioxidants and represents an essential part of a low carb Mediterranean diet. Following a Mediterranean diet based on low-carb foods is particularly beneficial if your blood sugar levels are elevated, but you will also discover many other good effects.

  • Steve Parker, M.D.

    I’m a huge advocate of the Mediterranean diet, not only for the flavor, but also because it reduces rates of heart attack, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and dementia.

    Oldways Preservation Trust is a good source of info for neophytes. They also have a new blog called “The Oldways Table.”

    Give up highly refined, processed foods, and you are halfway to a Mediterranean diet already.

    Regarding your food list above, I would keep the grains “whole” when able. And don’t forget about the potential benefits of wine.

    -Steve