Among popular diet trends, the Mediterranean diet is a long-time frontrunner. It favours veggies, whole grains, white meat and fish, making it full of nutrients and delicious flavours. The Mediterranean diet is centred around what people typically ate during the mid-20th century in countries that border the Mediterranean Sea – namely France, Spain, Greece and Italy.  

During that time, studies found these countries had low rates of chronic disease and longer than average adult life expectancy, even though they had limited access to healthcare. In recent years, this way of eating has become popular again as more information about its health benefits has become available. 

Here are some of the most common foods found in a typical Mediterranean diet.  


  • Tomatoes, broccoli, kale, spinach, onions, cauliflower, carrots, Brussels sprouts, cucumbers, potatoes, sweet potatoes, turnips. 


  • Apples, bananas, oranges, pears, strawberries, grapes, dates, figs, melons, peaches. 

Nuts and seeds

  • Almonds, walnuts, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, cashews, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, almond butter, peanut butter. 


  • Beans, peas, lentils, pulses, peanuts, chickpeas. 

Whole grains

  • Oats, brown rice, rye, barley, corn, buckwheat, whole wheat bread and pasta. 

Fish and seafood

  • Salmon, sardines, trout, tuna, mackerel, shrimp, oysters, clams, crab, mussels. 


  • Chicken, duck, turkey.


  • Chicken, quail, duck.


  • Cheese, yogurt, milk.

Herbs and spices

  • Garlic, basil, oregano, mint, rosemary, sage, nutmeg, cinnamon, pepper. 

Healthy fats

  • Extra-virgin olive oil, olives, avocados, avocado oil.

The Mediterranean diet is low on sugary and highly-processed foods. Ideally, you should limit how much of the following ingredients you choose to eat. 

Added sugar

  • Found in many foods, but is particularly high in soda, candies, ice cream, syrup, baked goods.

Refined grains

  • White bread, pasta, crackers.

 Trans fats

  • Margarine, fried foods, other processed foods.

Refined oils 

  • Soybean, canola, cottonseed, grapeseed. 

Processed meats

  • Sausages, hot dogs, deli meat, jerky. 

Highly-processed foods

  • Fast food, convenience meals, microwave popcorn, granola bars.

While water is the beverage of choice, red wine, coffee and tea in moderation are also quite common go-tos. 

If you can embrace the Mediterranean diet, both your mind and body will thank you. Research has connected this way of eating with improved cardiovascular health, diabetes prevention, weight management, mental wellness, and overall longevity. And it’s generally better for the environment since it includes fewer processed and packaged foods.  

It’s worth noting that choosing these foods can sometimes come with a higher price tag than their less healthy, previously prepared or processed counterparts – but the benefits are hard to ignore. 

Eating is also a social event in Mediterranean countries, so switching to this style of eating includes more connection with friends and family. So, let’s get cooking and enjoying fresher foods together.