The Complete A to Z Guide to the Mediterranean Diet

Rocket Salad, Cherry Tomato and soft Cheese

A traditional Mediterranean diet has been shown to have significant health benefits. The Mediterranean diet can help you: live a longer and healthier life, lower risk of Heart Disease and High Blood Pressure, prevent Chronic Diseases, fight certain cancers, protect from Diabetes, safeguard from Alzheimer’s Disease, and so forth. Recent studies have shown this eating pattern can reduce your risk of dementia and reverse symptoms of depression and anxiety.


Let’s have a look at Our Beginner’s Med Diet guide first… After this brief introduction, let’s find out more. Here are the most common questions and answers I’d like to share with you – The Complete A to Z Guide to the Mediterranean Diet!

Amazing place to visit, Cinque Terre, Italy

Q: What is the Mediterranean diet & Which countries have Med Diet?

A: The Mediterranean Diet is a traditional diet and a lifestyle inspired by the culinary habits of countries bordering the Mediterranean sea.

The Mediterranean countries include Italy, Greece, Spain, France, Croatia, Malta and Portugal along the north; Turkey, Cyprus, Syria, Lebanon, and Israel on the east; and the African countries of Egypt, Libya, Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia on the south, as well as other countries (their total number is 21 countries).

Q:  What is considered Mediterranean food?

A: The most common foods considered the Mediterranean include fresh fruit & vegetables, fish, seafood, eggs, dairy, legumes, whole grains.

Q: What are Mediterranean dishes?

A: Almost any type of fruit, vegetable, fish, egg, or white meat cooked in a light olive oil or canola oil.

BBQ Beef Ribs and TomatoesQ: Which food is eaten sparingly in the Mediterranean diet?

A: Red meat is avoided as much as possible in a Mediterranean diet.

Q: Which foods are not allowed on the Mediterranean diet?

A: There are no foods strictly banned from the Mediterranean diet, however, red meat should be avoided.

Q: Is Mediterranean food good for you?

A: The Mediterranean Diet is considered one of the healthiest in the World.  The advantages of Med healthy nutrition are known for decades. New research always adds something new: new characteristics or new benefits not known till this moment. This makes it constantly the center of the attention and attractive.

Q: What is the definition of Mediterranean cuisine?

A: Mediterranean cuisine is the traditional foods eaten in Mediterranean countries, and focuses on fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, white meats, and whole grains.

Q: What is the menu for the Mediterranean diet?

A: There is no specific menu for a Mediterranean diet, but dishes should have vegetables or fruits, with nuts, legumes, whole grains, fish, seafood, eggs, Feta & other soft cheeses, yogurt…

Q: What is a healthy Med Diet plan?

A: A healthy Med Diet plan is based on healthy fats (Extra Virgin Olive Oil), fresh vegetables and fruit, fish, etc. White meats are better than red.

Italian Pasta with White SauceQ: Is Italian food considered Mediterranean food?

A: Italian food is considered the Mediterranean, especially food that contains more vegetables or fruits and less bread or pasta.

Q: Is Lebanese Mediterranean food?

A: Lebanese is one form of Mediterranean food, especially dishes that focus on vegetables and legumes.

Q: Is Greek and Mediterranean food the same thing?

A: Most people who refer to a Mediterranean diet are thinking of Greek or Italian foods. There are numerous amazing dishes from other Mediterranean countries, too.

Q: Is pizza part of the Mediterranean diet?

A: Pizzas with various vegetables, soft cheeses, pieces of white meat or seafood, white meat hams, herbs, and an olive oil are part of the Mediterranean diet.

Veggie Pizza with Tomato and RocketQ: What may Mediterranean pizzas contain?

A: Mediterranean pizzas may contain olives, artichokes, tomatoes, spinach, broccoli, sweet pepper or other vegetables, garlic, a mix of mozzarella, provolone, different herbs like oregano, basil, etc., various seafood, white meat, etc.

Q: What is in a Mediterranean salad?

A: A Mediterranean salad may include: tomatoes, cucumbers, other vegetables, low-fat cheeses, garlic, various herbs, leafy greens, legumes, seeds, olive oil…

Q: What are the Key ingredients of the Mediterranean diet?

A: Olive oil, olives, wheat, fresh fruit and vegetables, legumes, herbs, feta & yogurt, garlic, red wine…

Q: What are common Mediterranean spices?

A: Common Mediterranean spices include oregano, basil, thyme, rosemary, saffron, sage, cumin, and garlic.

Q: What are Mediterranean 7 Spices?

A: The 7 spices mixed together are nutmeg, cinnamon, coriander, cloves, cardamom, paprika, and cumin.

Traditional Greek salad with Feta cheeseQ: What is in Mediterranean salad dressing?

A: Mediterranean salad dressings are made with olive oil, wine vinegar,  lemon juice or zest.

Q: Is Med Diet family-friendly diet?

The real Mediterranean diet is about more than just eating fresh, wholesome food. Sharing meals with family & friends and daily physical activity are vital elements of the Mediterranean Diet Pyramid. So, Yes, it’s family diet. This family diet can have a profound effect on both mood and mental health of the whole family!

Q: Is this Diet easy to start?

Making changes to your diet is rarely easy, especially if you’re trying to move away from the convenience of processed and takeout foods. But the Mediterranean diet can be an inexpensive (if you don’t order Ready Mediterranean meals) as well as a satisfying and very healthy way to eat.

Q: What does Breakfast in the Mediterranean look like?

The variety of breakfasts in the Mediterranean can be overwhelming.

Med Diet breakfast may include whole-grain bread, toasted bread, yogurt, oatmeal, eggs, turkey or chicken ham, soft cheeses, fruit, honey, various pies (cheese/meat /other pies), olives, and similar.

A typical Med breakfast:

Homemade Yogurt with Dried Fruit, SeedsIn Greece:  paximadia (bread made from whole wheat, chickpea, and barley flour) + olives + cheese

Spain and Italy: toasted bread + soft cheese + fresh fruit or freshly squeezed fruit juice

Syria: tahini yogurt with chickpeas + pickles + sliced radishes

Q: Can you eat peanut butter on the Mediterranean diet?

A: It’s allowed in moderation.

Q: What is a typical Mediterranean Lunch?

A: There are plenty of wonderful Mediterranean recipes that can be easily found online, too.

Some of the typical Mediterranean meal recipes: Mediterranean stuffed bell peppers,  Roasted chicken, Oven roasted vegetables, Lentil soup, Chickpea soup, Mediterranean Chicken Paella, Seafood Paella, Salmon with spinach, Turkey and Rice Meatballs, Frutti di mare (seafood with rice or pasta), etc. Read more HERE…

Cheese, Grapes and Glass of Red WineQ: What is a typical Mediterranean Dinner?

A: Med Dinner should be lighter than the other meals. The easiest Med Dinner idea – is a salad with various vegetables (plain) / or with white meat or seafood. If you like bread – whole-grain bread is an excellent choice! Med salads can be paired with Feta cheese/ other soft cheese, olives (taking care of having a perfect food balance) and a glass of red wine. Alternatives: veggie pizza, yogurt, healthy sandwich, etc.

Q: How does the Mediterranean diet help Weight Loss?

This diet emphasizes fruits & vegetables, white meat, olive oils, fish, seafood in order to reduce weight and increase heart health.

Q: What Snacks are good for losing weight?

A: Fresh fruit & veggies, nuts, dried fruit, seeds, etc.

Q: Can you eat rice & pasta on the Mediterranean diet?

A: It’s allowed in moderation. Try whole-grain rice and pasta, which are healthier.

Q: Is the Mediterranean diet low in carbs?

A: The majority of a Mediterranean diet is low carb, like fruits, vegetables, and fish. Carbs can be found in Mediterranean foods like whole grains, pasta, and legumes.

I hope The Complete A to Z Guide to the Mediterranean Diet gave you a clearer picture of the World healthiest diet- the Mediterranean Diet. If you enjoyed the read and would like to know more, I suggest you to read the following articles:

View from the village on Santorini Island








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