The Mediterranean Diet 101: Everything You Need to Know About

The Mediterranean diet is based on traditional foods that were eaten in countries such as Italy and Greece in the 1960s.

According to researchers, these people were unusually healthy compared to other nations, and many of the risks of fatal illness were very low.

Many research shows that the Mediterranean diet can provide weight loss and can prevent heart attack, paralysis, type 2 diabetes disorders and premature deaths.

Mediterranean Diet Meal Plan

There is not a single “right way” to apply this diet. There are many countries around the Mediterranean, especially in Turkey, and they didn’t eat the same thing.

In this article, the Mediterranean diet is described by the researches advocating that it is an effective type of nutrition.

Think of them as a general guideline, not as strict rules. You can set the diet to suit your own personal goals and preferences.

Mediterranean Diet Food Pyramid

Key Features of Mediterranean Diet

You can always eat: vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans, legumes, potatoes, whole grains, bread, herbs, spices, fish, seafood and extra virgin olive oil.

You can eat in a moderate proportion: poultry, eggs, cheese and yogurt.

Rarely you can eat: red meat.

You cannot eat: sweetened beverages, sugar, processed meats (such as sausage, sausage, salami), machined grains, refined oils, and other over processed foods.

Stay away from these unhealthy foods

You should stay away from these unhealthy foods and beverages:

  • Added sugar: carbonated drinks, sugars, ice cream, cutoff sugar and others.
  • Diluted grains: white bread, pasta made from thinned cereals, etc.
  • Trans fats: It is found in margarine and other highly chemically treated foods.
  • Refined oils: sunflower oil, corn oil, hazelnut oil and others.
  • Processed meat: processed sausages, sausages, salami and ham.
  • Heat treated foods: anything that looks like a “low fat” or “light” label or factory-produced.

If you want to avoid these unhealthy foods, you should read the list of ingredients.

Food you can eat in The Mediterranean Diet

You should base your diet on this healthy and unprocessed Mediterranean food.

  • Vegetables: tomato, broccoli, cabbage, spinach, onion, chard, cauliflower, carrot, brussels sprouts, cucumbers etc.
  • Fruits: Apple, banana, orange, pear, strawberry, grape, palm, fig, melon, watermelon, peach, apricot, cherry etc.
  • Nuts and kernels: almonds, walnuts, peanuts, nuts, cashew, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and more.
  • Legumes: beans, peas, lentils, kidney beans, bulgur, pulses, peanuts, chickpeas etc.
  • Tuber plants: potatoes, sweet potatoes, radishes, earth apples, etc.
  • Full grain: full oats, buckwheat, rice, rye, barley, corn, full wheat, full grain bread and pasta.
  • Fish and seafood: salmon, sardines, trout, lufer, sea bass, mezgit, acorn, tuna, mackerel, shrimp, oysters, crabs, mussels etc.
  • Poultry: Chicken, Turkey and others.
  • Eggs: Chicken eggs, quail eggs and duck eggs.
  • Dairy products: cheese, yogurt, cream, etc.
  • Herbs and spices: garlic, basil, peppermint, thyme, paprika rosemary, clary sage, cumin, cinnamon, pepper etc.
  • Healthy fats: Extra virgin olive oil, gemlik olives, avocado and avocado oil.

Unprocessed, full and one-component food is the key to health and happiness.

Considerations for The Mediterranean Diet

It’s a controversial issue in which food belongs to Mediterranean cuisine. Because there’s a lot of difference between the Mediterranean countries.

The Mediterranean diet described in the research is more than herbal nutrients, and animal foods are less.

But twice a week, fish and seafood meals are strongly recommended in our country.

The Mediterranean lifestyle also includes regular physical activity, sharing of food with other people and enjoying life.

According to the philosophy of the Mediterranean, life is most beautiful as it shares.

What to drink in The Mediterranean Diet?

In the Mediterranean diet, water must be an indispensable beverage.

This diet also includes a moderate amount of red wine. About a glass of wine a day is beneficial to the heart.

But it’s entirely up to you. Those who don’t use alcohol as their lifestyle or who can’t control their alcohol consumption should stay away from wine.

Coffee and tea are all free. Turkish tea and coffee are beneficial if drinking without additives. But stay away from sugar flavored drinks and juices.

A weekly Mediterranean diet sample meal plan

This is an example of a weekly Mediterranean diet diet plan.
You are free to change the portioning and food selections in accordance with your own needs and objectives.


  • Breakfast: Strawberry and oatmeal yogurt.
  • Lunch: A veggie and a whole grain sandwich.
  • Dinner: Tuna fish and olive oil salad. A piece of fruit for dessert.


  • Breakfast: Oatmeal with raisin.
  • Lunch: Tuna salad in the evening before.
  • Dinner: white cheese, tomato and olive salad.


  • Breakfast: Veggie, tomato, onion omelette. A piece of fruit.
  • Lunch: Full-grain sandwich with cheese and fresh veggies.
  • Dinner: Mediterranean lasagna.


  • Breakfast: Nuts and chopped fruit yogurt.
  • Lunch: The lasagna that was left in the evening.
  • Dinner: Grilled salmon served with spaghetti and vegetables.


  • Breakfast: Eggs and vegetables cooked in olive oil.
  • Lunch: oats, nuts and strawberry yogurt.
  • Dinner: Grilled lamb, salad and baked potatoes.


  • Breakfast: raisins, nuts and apple oatmeal.
  • Lunch: Veggie and full-grain sandwiches.
  • Dinner: Full-grain Mediterranean pizza with cheese, vegetables and olives on top.


  • Breakfast: Veggie and olive omelette.
  • Lunch: An evening’s leftover pizza.
  • Dinner: Grilled chicken, various veggies and a potato. Fruit as dessert.

You do not need to count calories in the Mediterranean diet or follow macro nutrients such as protein, fats, carbohydrates. If you are doing this diet to lose weight, it is possible to lose weight as long as you do not keep your portions too large because the proportion of carbohydrates is very low.

Healthy Mediterranean Snacks

You don’t have to eat more than three meals a day.

But if you’re hungry between meals, you can eat them as snacks:

  • A handful of nuts.
  • A piece of fruit.
  • Carrot.
  • Jungle berries or grapes.
  • The food that was left in the evening.
  • Yogurt.
  • Apple slices.

How to apply the Mediterranean diet in restaurants?

The dining menu of most restaurants is suitable for the Mediterranean diet.

  • Choose fish or seafood as the main dish.
  • Ask them to cook your food in natural virgin olive oil.
  • Just eat a whole grain of bread. Ask for olive oil instead of butter.

Shopping list for Mediterranean diet

It might be a good idea to walk around the grocery store and the butcher shop. All unprocessed food is usually found there.

  • Always choose the least traded food. Organic is the best. But if you can easily buy.
  • Vegetables: carrots, onions, broccoli, spinach, cabbage, garlic, biceps etc.
  • Fruits: apples, bananas, oranges, grapes, Mandarin etc.
  • Forest berries: strawberries, blueberries, black mulberry, raspberry etc.
  • Frozen vegetables: Choose the ones mixed with healthy vegetables.
  • Cereals: Full grain bread, full grain pasta etc.
  • Legumes: lentils, kidney beans, beans, black wheat, bulgur etc.
  • Nuts: Almonds, walnuts, nuts, cashew etc.
  • Cores: sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds etc.
  • Spices: sea salt, pepper flakes, thyme, peppermint, rosemary, black pepper, turmeric, cinnamon etc.
  • Fish: Salmon, haddock, sea bass, mackerel, acorn, sardines, turtlets, tuna and trout.
  • Shrimp, squid, etc. other shellfish.
  • Potatoes and sweet potatoes.
  • Cheese varieties.
  • Yogurt.
  • Chicken.
  • Eggs of free grazing chickens or eggs enriched in omega-3 terms.
  • Green and black olives.
  • Natural virgin olive oil.

It’s best to keep all the unhealthy food out of your house. Carbonated beverages, fruit juices, ice creams, sweets, candies, pastries, white bread, crackers and all sorts of processed food.

If there’s only good food in your house, you’ll eat good food.