What Is the Mediterranean Diet
It’s a delicious way to help with heart health, diabetes prevention, and more. But, think of it less as a diet and more as a flexible way to eat.
The Mediterranean Diet, Explained
While people who live in countries along the Mediterranean Sea consistently have longer life expectancies, people in North African countries along the Mediterranean eat much differently than Italians or those residing in Southern France.
But what they have in common is eating an abundance of fresh produce, plant-based protein, fish, healthy fats, and whole grains, while limiting red meats, alcohol, and refined, processed foods. Think of it less as a diet and more as a flexible way to eat. And enjoy the world’s healthiest diet by stocking up on the following:
- Fatty fish — such as salmon and mackerel
- Lean protein — such as garbanzo beans (chickpeas), cannellini beans, chicken breast, and eggs
- Nuts and seeds — such as almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, and pepitas
- Whole grains — such as whole-wheat pasta or pitas, quinoa, bulgur, and farro
- Healthy fats — such as olive oil and avocados
- Fresh produce — such as tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, carrots, zucchini, pears, citrus, apples, berries, and melons
- Herbs and seasonings — such as fresh parsley, mint, basil, rosemary, and garlic, and dried cinnamon and nutmeg
- A few specialty items — such as pomegranate molasses and ground sumac
Recipes for the Mediterranean Diet
We've pulled together recipes for every season and every reason:
- Top-Rated Mediterranean Diet Recipes
- Top Recipes for Your Budget-Friendly Mediterranean Diet
- Best Mediterranean Diet Breakfast Recipes
- Top-Rated Seafood Recipes for the Mediterranean Diet
- Best Keto Friendly Recipes for the Mediterranean Diet
- A Full Week's Worth of Menus for the Mediterranean Diet
- Mediterranean Diet Recipes to Make in Your Instant Pot
- Simple One-Skillet Recipes for the Mediterranean Diet
- Best Slow Cooker Recipes for the Mediterranean Diet
- Healthy Mediterranean Diet Recipes for Winter
- Mediterranean Diet Recipes Perfect for Summer
- Chef John's Best Recipes for the Mediterranean Diet
Browse our entire collection of Mediterranean Diet recipes.
This article originally appeared in the August/September 2020 issue of Allrecipes Magazine.
We're serving up and celebrating the biggest home-cooking trends from the most enthusiastic cooks we know: our community. We crunched the data from 1.2 billion annual Allrecipes.com visits and 2.5 billion annual page views. Then we dug even further, surveying Allrecipes cooks about what's in their carts and fridges, on their stovetops and tables, and on their minds. The Mediterranean Diet is just one of the topics they're most curious about. See more of the "State of Home Cooking" special report.