The Complete Mediterranean Diet Food And Shopping List

Explore the wonderful Mediterranean Diet. Print this free complete Mediterranean Diet Food List that is based on the authentic Mediterranean Diet. By Mediterranean Diet Expert and Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Elena Paravantes RDN.

Mediterranean Diet Food List #Diet #Mediterranean #foods #shoppingThe Mediterranean diet generally is not based on rare or exotic foods, nor is it about complex recipes. Most ingredients are easy to find. The original version, particularly the Greek diet which was the prototype of this now popular eating pattern, is based on simplicity. This is a plant based diet with the key components being vegetables and olive oil. Many of you have requested this Mediterranean Diet food list and here is a free downloadable list (pdf – -CLICK HERE AND DOWNLOAD YOUR OWN COMPLETE MEDITERRANEAN DIET FOOD LIST – ) with all the foods that can help you follow an authentic Mediterranean diet.

The list is based on a traditional Greek Mediterranean diet mostly which is the prototype of the Mediterranean Diet. Some unique aspects include the consumption of greens (horta), mainly small fish, and of course the importance of herbs not only for cooking, but for drinking. Herbal drinks are consumed very often and there has been ongoing research on the benefits of drinking these beverages.

It is important to note that a Mediterranean diet is also a sustainable diet, that means low on meat and going local and seasonal as much as possible. I am quite surprised when I see so-called Mediterranean recipes and almost all of them are composed of some sort of meat with vegetables on the side. That is not a typical Mediterranean meal, a typical Mediterranean meal is mainly vegetables and in most cases no meat, except for celebratory meals. Low on meat means good for the earth. Another important aspect is the local and seasonal aspect. Try and consume vegetables, fruit and fish that are produced or grown as close to you as possible.

Below,  I go through all the food groups followed by a downloadable Mediterranean Diet Food List:

Vegetables

The key here is to be seasonal and as local as possible. No need to buy imported artichokes for example. What is more important is the method they are cooked and how they are consumed: cooked in olive oil and tomato usually, and consumed as a main course. I do recommend having on hand some frozen vegetables such as peas, spinach (for a quick spanakopita) and green beans when you cannot access fresh produce.

Fruit

Same concept, local and seasonal. It should be noted that Greeks consume more citrus in the winter which are an important source of antioxidants.

Dairy

Main sources of dairy is cheese and yogurt. I did not include milk in this list, but if you consume it add it to your list. It should be noted that dairy consumed within a Mediterranean diet is not low fat.

Meat and Poultry

Red meat is generally consumed once a week and chicken once a week. Meat is not the main attraction in any meal, unless it is a holiday or celebration. Common meat dishes include beef patties with herbs, chicken cooked in tomato, roasted chicken or roasted lamb.

Fish and Seafood

The fish is mainly small and fatty. But remember even in Greece in the mountainous areas, fish was not necessarily consumed fresh, but mostly in a cured form. So you can go ahead and use canned sardines and anchovies.

Grains and Bread

The Greek-Mediterranean diet is not a high carbohydrate diet, in fact nutrition analysis show that only 40% of calories come from carbs. They most common carb is bread. Bread accompanies all the vegetable dishes. Once a week there will be a dish with pasta, and rice is often mixed with vegetables such as in spinach rice or leek rice.

Fats and nuts

As noted olive oil is your main source of fat, you use it for cooking, baking and sautéing. Try and find the freshest extra virgin olive oil you can get your hands on. Get some tips here for buying olive oil.

Beans

Beans play an important role in the Mediterranean diet. We eat them about twice a week. In Greece we use mostly dry, but canned can work for convenience.

Pantry Items

Items that are not on the other list will go here. One of my most used pantry items are canned tomatoes that I use when making all those vegetable dishes on the winter.

Herbs and Spices

Greek cuisine is mostly a cuisine of herbs, and there a few spices that are used such as cinnamon sticks, all spice and occasionally cumin. Herbs are also used in beverages, and play an important in the health benefits of the diet.

Greens

This is another aspect of the diet that is important nutritionally. Try and include various greens in your diet. In Greece we lightly boil them and serve them with olive oil and lemon. Or you can make a pita (hortopita) with them.

 

-CLICK HERE AND DOWNLOAD YOUR OWN COMPLETE MEDITERRANEAN DIET FOOD LIST –

THE COMPLETE MEDITERRANEAN DIET FOOD AND SHOPPING LIST

A Mediterranean Menu Plan

Now that you have everything you need, check out the Greek-Mediterranean Diet Menu plan that you can see by clicking on the photo below:

Mediterranean Diet Meal Plan #Mediterranean #Diet #Plan #meal #menu

 


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Photos by Elena Paravantes, © 2018 All Rights Reserved

Mediterranean Diet Food and Shopping List

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12 Comments

  • Reply Richard Putz September 16, 2018 at 2:31 pm

    I truly enjoy this website. The shopping list is something I take with me on my trips to Whole foods and Kroger.
    This is the only true Greek Mediterranean lifestyle website. Thank you!

  • Reply How to Start a Mediterranean Diet in 5 Steps September 21, 2018 at 12:34 pm

    […] You can start with one of these and try it out for a week or so and then add the next. Than you can checkout my 5 Day  Mediterranean Diet Menu Plan as well as the Mediterranean Diet Shopping List. […]

    • Reply Pat Haas May 20, 2019 at 12:36 pm

      I really need to start eating this way. Do you send out weekly articles/recipes, or is there a good book for beginners? I am 68 1/2 years old. I have diabetes (on oral medication) moderate exercise but have a huge amount of belly fat and I’m sure visceral fat. I’m female also

  • Reply The Authentic Mediterranean Diet Meal Plan and Menu October 22, 2018 at 7:57 am

    […] The Complete Mediterranean Diet Food And Shopping List […]

  • Reply Betty December 15, 2018 at 7:50 pm

    Excellent site! Very informative and not overwhelming,

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RDN December 20, 2018 at 9:57 am

      Thank you Betty!

    • Reply Wanda Gibson May 24, 2019 at 1:10 am

      Recently diagnosed with high cholesterol 302 Dr. suggested Mediterranean diet please help feeling I just lost my best friend aka red meat! I have 6 mos to lower cholesterol and absolutely do not want to take the meds to lower! Is oatmeal acceptable on the diet? As I know it aids in lowering cholesterol! Help

  • Reply Joanne M Krul January 29, 2019 at 8:44 pm

    Is the Mediterranean diet the same as Keto diet. I’m confused. Need to lose weight20 lbs i’ve gained since quitting smoking. And I have high cholesterol and don ‘t want to go on pill. Help

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RDN January 30, 2019 at 8:36 am

      Hi Joanne, No the Mediterranean diet is not the same as keto. The difference is that the Mediterranean Diet has hundreds of studies supporting it, while the keto diet only has a few studies and it is not clear if it is safe long term. Also the main difference in terms of food is that the Mediterranean diet allows all food groups as opposed to the keto diet that restricts carbohydrates. It is also high in saturated fat (bad fat) and can lead to nutrient deficiencies among other side effects.

  • Reply Robin May 31, 2019 at 4:14 am

    Are avocados not part of the Mediterranean diet?

    • Reply Christiane June 1, 2019 at 9:39 pm

      I wondered about that too.

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RDN June 4, 2019 at 5:11 am

      Hi Robin, Avocados were not cultivated in the Mediterranean, hence they were not part of the Mediterranean diet simply because they do not grow here. Only recently have they been cultivating them on the island of Crete. However, as they are a good source of monounsaturated fat you can incorporate them in your diet.

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