Mediterranean Diet Food List and Pyramid

If you’re already a veteran follower of the Mediterranean diet, you might be familiar with the traditional healthy Mediterranean diet pyramid. The illustration indicates the food groups and individual food items that you should consume on a monthly, weekly and daily basis.

The pyramid also indicates the importance of getting daily physical activity and getting the daily beverage recommendation of six glasses of water a day. Wine can be taken in moderation; fruits, nuts, legumes and vegetables should be eaten on a daily basis – along with bread, pasta, rice, couscous, polenta, potatoes and other whole-grain foods.

Meat, sweets, eggs, poultry and fish can be consumed monthlyl. Similarly, cheese and yogurt are an important part of the Mediterranean diet.

Now, here is a list of the food groups and the health benefits that you will get to enjoy by following the Mediterranean diet:

1. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
This is the foundation of a Mediterranean diet. Instead of cooking with lard, butter or margarine, extra virgin olive oil is used. Olive oil is a great source of monounsaturated fats, vitamin E and phenols. Perhaps the best thing about using olive oil as a staple to any Mediterranean diet cooking is that it has that wonderfully fresh and light taste, making it a perfect ingredient for salad dressings, sauces for pasta and even as bread condiment.

2. ‘Oily’ Fish
Tuna, mackerels, salmon and herring are some of the oily fish used in the Mediterranean diet, which are great sources of Omega 3 fatty acids to benefit your heart’s health.

3. Fruits & Vegetables
Instead of going for sweet, processed desserts, why not enjoy the natural sweetness of fruits? Vegetables in omelets, as well as a multitude of spices and herbs are also a major part of the Mediterranean diet.

4. Beans, Legumes and Nuts
Almonds, cashews, flaxseeds, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds and walnuts are also an important part of the Mediterranean diet. They can be used as part of a meal or as snacks and they are chockful of vitamins and minerals to benefit your health.

5. Other Mediterranean Diet Food Staples
Red wine, fresh herbs and spices, cereals, grains – these are the other food items that you need to stock your pantry with if you want to take advantage of the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet.