Mediterranean Diet Foods Permitted

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The Mediterranean diet allows foods based on the following criteria:

Foods to be Eaten Every Day

  • All fruits
  • All vegetables
  • Cereals – amaranth, buckwheat, cous cous, millet, oats, polenta, quinoa, rye, wholewheat
  • Dairy – cheese (especially sheep and goats), milk, thick natural Greek yoghurt
  • Grains – barley, brown rice
  • Legumes – chickpeas, beans (especially Borlotti, lima, navy, red kidney, white), lentils (all types), black eyed peas (but all peas in general), soybeans
  • Nuts – almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, peanuts, pecans, pistachios, walnuts
  • Olive oil and olives
  • Seeds – pumpkin, sesame, sunflower
  • Tofu (including tempeh)
  • Wholegrain breads and pasta
Red wine is allowed on the Mediterranean diet most days, but make sure it has no preservatives to ensure it is really healthy

Foods to be Eaten 3-4 Times a Week

  • Fish – fatty fish (mackerel, salmon, sardines, trout)
  • Eggs- organic and free range
  • Poultry – chicken, duck, turkey

Foods to be Eaten 1-2 Times a Week

  • Red meat
  • Sweets


  1. de Lorgeril M, Salen P, Martin JL, Monjaud I, Delaye J, Mamelle N. Mediterranean diet, traditional risk factors, and the rate of cardiovascular complications after myocardial infarction: final report of the Lyon Diet Heart Study.  1999 Feb 16;99(6):779-85.
  2. Kris-Etherton P, Eckel R H, Howard BV, St. Jeor S, Bazzarre T L, for the Nutrition Committee Population Science Committee and Clinical Science Committee of the American Heart Association. Lyon Diet Heart Study. Benefits of a Mediterranean-Style, National Cholesterol Education Program/American Heart Association Step I Dietary Pattern on Cardiovascular Disease. Circulation. 2001; 103: 1823-1825



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