Mediterranean Diet: What to Eat and What Not to Eat

Mediterranean Diet: What to Eat and What Not to Eat

Are you tired of fad diets that promise quick weight loss but leave you feeling unsatisfied and hungry? Look no further than the Mediterranean diet, a delicious and healthy way of eating that’s been enjoyed by people living along the Mediterranean Sea for centuries. In this post, we’ll take a closer look at what to eat and what not to eat on the Mediterranean diet, and why it’s one of the most sustainable and beneficial diets out there. So grab a fork and let’s dig in!

What is Mediterranean diet

The Mediterranean diet is a way of eating that is based on the traditional cuisine of countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea, such as Greece, Italy, and Spain. It emphasizes the consumption of plant-based foods, such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, nuts, and seeds, as well as healthy fats, such as olive oil, and moderate consumption of fish, poultry, and dairy.

Red meat and processed foods are limited, and the diet also encourages the use of herbs and spices instead of salt to flavor food. Research suggests that following a Mediterranean diet can have numerous health benefits, including reducing the risk of heart disease, stroke, and some types of cancer, which is also mentioned in named “A practical guide to the Mediterranean Diet “by Harvard Health blogs.

What to eat

Here are some examples of foods that are commonly included in the Mediterranean diet:

  • Fruits: such as apples, oranges, bananas, berries, and grapes.
  • Vegetables: such as spinach, kale, broccoli, carrots, and tomatoes.
  • Whole grains: such as brown rice, whole wheat bread, and quinoa.
  • Legumes: such as lentils, chickpeas, and black beans.
  • Nuts and seeds: such as almonds, walnuts, pistachios, and chia seeds.
  • Fish: such as salmon, tuna, sardines, and mackerel.
  • Poultry: such as chicken and turkey.
  • Dairy products: such as Greek yogurt, feta cheese, and cottage cheese.
  • Olive oil: used as the primary source of fat in cooking.
  • Herbs and spices: such as garlic, basil, oregano, and thyme.

What not to eat

Here are some examples of what not to eat on the Mediterranean diet:

  • Processed foods: Highly processed foods such as sugary snacks, fast food, and processed meats should be avoided on the Mediterranean diet.
  • Refined grains: Refined grains like white bread, pasta, and rice are not commonly eaten on the Mediterranean diet. Instead, whole grains such as quinoa, brown rice, and whole-grain bread are preferred.
  • Sweets and sugary beverages: The Mediterranean diet discourages the consumption of sugary foods and drinks, such as soda, candy, and baked goods.
  • Red meat: While not entirely forbidden, red meat is not a staple of the Mediterranean diet. Poultry and fish are preferred protein sources.
  • Butter and margarine: High-fat spreads like butter and margarine are not commonly used in the Mediterranean diet. Instead, olive oil is the primary source of fat.

Overall, the Mediterranean diet emphasizes whole, minimally processed foods while limiting highly processed and sugary foods.

3 Recipes for the Mediterranean diet made at home

Here are three Mediterranean diet recipes for you to try:

1.Greek Salad


  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cucumber, sliced
  • 1 small red onion, sliced
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives
  • 4 oz feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a large bowl, combine the chopped tomatoes, sliced cucumber, sliced red onion, chopped green pepper, and kalamata olives.
  2. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, red wine vinegar, dried oregano, and salt and pepper.
  3. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine.
  4. Top with crumbled feta cheese and serve.

2.Mediterranean Baked Fish

Mediterranean Baked Fish


  • 4 white fish fillets (such as cod or tilapia)
  • 1 large tomato, sliced
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives
  • 2 tbsp capers
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. Arrange the fish fillets in a baking dish.
  3. Top the fish with sliced tomatoes, sliced onions, kalamata olives, and capers.
  4. Drizzle the olive oil over the fish and vegetables.
  5. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the fish is cooked through.
  7. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley and serve.

 A practice video is provided for reference.

3. Grilled Chicken with Lemon and Garlic

Grilled Chicken with Lemon and Garlic


  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, minced garlic, dried oregano, salt, and pepper.
  2. Place the chicken breasts in a large resealable plastic bag and pour the marinade over the chicken.
  3. Seal the bag and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes (or up to 4 hours).
  4. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat.
  5. Remove the chicken from the marinade and discard the marinade.
  6. Grill the chicken for 6-7 minutes per side, or until cooked through.
  7. Let the chicken rest for a few minutes before serve.