The Full List of Foods for the Mediterranean Diet

By John Fenster

Whole Grains

Whole grains are key to the Mediterranean diet. Italy uses farro in hot and cold dishes and salads. 

Bulgur, produced from cracked wheat berries, is another staple in pilafs and tabbouleh. Different regions also use couscous, pasta, and barley. 


Chickpeas are used in hummus, falafel, and salads in the Mediterranean cuisine. 

Soups and stews with lentils are wonderful one-pot meals full of fiber and protein. 

Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds are satisfying snacks due to their fiber, protein, and fat. 

This versatile condiment, well known for hummus, enhances salad dressings

Kimchi, Olives and Capers

Table olives are eaten as a snack or with crudités. Popular kalamata olives are used in salads, spaghetti, and tapenade. 

Olives include antioxidant polyphenols and heart-healthy lipids. 

Canned Tomatoes

The Mediterranean diet relies on canned and fresh tomatoes, whole, diced, stewed, or pasted. 

Yogurt and Cheeses

The Mediterranean diet recommends dairy in moderation with fruits, vegetables, and complete grains.

Red Wine

Antioxidant polyphenols, especially resveratrol, in red wine may raise HDL cholesterol and lower LDL cholesterol.

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