Tag Archives: Red Wine

Mediterranean Diet Shopping List

Hopefully you are convinced (as I am) that the Mediterranean diet is fantastic. It has proven to be a healthy way of life for many people – why not you? Unlike other diets such as the Atkins diet or Paleo diet there is little debate over whether or not it is good for you.

Of course, we have established that it is also quite different from other diets because it is more about food choices and cooking methods – a way of eating – rather than focusing on restrictions. In fact, it doesn’t really even talk about portion control. Although, I do recommend that you use good sense and eat moderately.

Other than that, this is one of the best diets on the planet. It’s tasty, easy to follow, and has multiple health benefits, such as:  reducing your risk of getting nasty diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, cancer, diabetes and heart disease.

Also – if you need to lower your blood pressure and bad cholesterol . . . the Mediterranean diet is for you. If you want to live a long and healthy life . . . you got it! The Mediterranean diet is for you.

It you are focusing on clean eating, this is a diet that allows you to follow that philosophy, eat well, and enjoy the food.

The diet itself is quite simple and very flexible. You should be able to find most of the food at your local supermarket.

Mediterranean Diet Shopping List

The diet can be broken down into a few groups, which makes it easy to shop:

  • Whole grains
  • Healthy oils & fats
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Vegetables and fruits
  • Yogurt and cheese
  • Seafood
  • Beans
  • Herbs and spices

That’s pretty much it. There may be a few other items, but for the most part, if you stick to these eight categories, you will be eating healthy.

Whole Grains

Please notice it says “whole grains.” In fact, look for the word “whole” or 100% whole wheat or whole grain on the label. Examples would be whole grain bread or whole grain pasta. Good whole grain items would be: pasta, tortillas, bread, oatmeal, cereals, polenta, brown rice, quinoa, barley and pita.

Whole wheat bread dipped in olive oil is a tasty treat.

Healthy Oils

Mediterranean DietHealthy oils are a key ingredient In the Mediterranean diet. Replace butter with healthy fats – especially extra-virgin olive oil, which is excellent for cooking and on salads.

Other suggested oils are: canola, grape seed, sesame, and avocado oil. In the Mediterranean diet, the staple oil used is olive oil. Oils have lots of calories, so try to limit yourself to no more than three tablespoons per day.

Keep the oils in a cool, dark place so that they last longer.

Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds are another group of healthy fats. You must be a little cautious with this group, they are calorie dense. Don’t go nuts with the nuts. Consume them in moderation or you will end up adding pounds you do not want.

A handful a day will provide our body with protein, healthy fats, and fiber. Buy them in bulk and pack them in small snack bags – limiting yourself to one bag per day.

Almonds, cashews, flax, sunflower seeds, walnuts and pine nuts are all good choices.

Vegetables and Fruits

Fruits and Vegetables
Image by by Erdosain

These are nutrition-packed foods filled with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.

Always buy fresh, organic produce when it is available. Seven to 10 servings of fruits and vegetables should be eaten daily.

Frozen fruits and veggies are also fine as long as they are quick frozen with nothing added. Avoid canned vegetables, if possible. If you must use canned, be they are low sodium.

Vegetables – you have many choices:  All the green leafy vegetables, plus broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, eggplant, celery, onions, radishes, tomatoes, squash, beets, mustard greens, avocados, green peppers, etc. Obviously, it is a long list!

Fruits are eaten in place of sweets on this diet. Recommended are: apples, cherries, dates, peaches, kiwi, mango, papaya, grapefruit, oranges, melons, and strawberries.  Again . . . buy organic if at all possible; or, you may be ingesting pesticides that are harmful to your body. If not organic, wash extremely well and peel if possible.

Yogurt and Cheese

Dairy is not a major focus on the diet. It is usually eaten in the form of yogurt and cheese.  Both are good options as a calcium source. Stay with whole natural cheeses and plain, unsweetened Greek yogurt (need sweet, add a little honey).

Seafood

Baked SalmonSeafood is heavily consumed in the Mediterranean region. Shrimp, salmon, cod, clams, tilapia, tuna, sardines, scallops and crab are excellent seafood choices and are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids.

Eggs are also eaten as a source of protein and a regular part of the diet. Chicken is also served on occasion.  Red meat is eaten rarely – so go very easy on this one.

Lentils and Beans

These are high in protein but low in fats and calories. You have many choices: lentils, chickpeas, clack beans, pinto beans and white beans.

Herbs and Spices

Use fresh or dried herbs and spices to season your food and enhance the flavors. You will not need to use salt or unhealthy fats to make your food tasty. Garlic, mint, cumin, coriander, parsley, basil, oregano, cilantro and pepper are good choices.

Don’t forget the garlic – a favorite in the Mediterranean Region.

Red Wine

Mediterranean Diet
Image by karandaev

I know this isn’t one of the categories – and is optional on the diet. But if you enjoy good red wine, a glass each evening is encouraged (one for women and no more than two for men).

That pretty much sums it up. The diet is primarily focused on fresh fruits, vegetables, olive oil, and seafood with limited poultry and practically no red meat plus minimal sweets – all good reasons why it is so healthy.

Shop wisely and ENJOY!

5 Tips for the Mediterranean Diet

Enjoy these 5 tips for the Mediterranean Diet, which has become one of the most popular diet choices in the world even though it is more a healthy way of eating than a diet as we usually define the word. It should be around for a very long time.

Explaining the Mediterranean Diet
Image by karandaev

Unlike other fad diets, it is not new nor particularly unique. In fact, these five simple tips will help you stay on track if you choose to implement it.

This incredibly healthy way of eating comes to us from the Mediterranean Sea Region where people have been preparing and eating this way for centuries. If you were to ask them about the “diet” they would not see why it is such a big deal – it is just the way they have always eaten.

Yet, to Americans and the rest of the world who have developed a steady diet of convenience foods made up of processed, additive-filled meals and junk food, the health benefits of this diet can seem dramatic and almost unbelievable.

The diet gained its recent and massive popularity after the results of a five-year Spanish study published in the New England Journal of Medicine that showed it slowed aging, reduced bad cholesterol, and prevented the onset of diseases such as Alzheimer’s Parkinson’s, stroke, cardiovascular disease, etc.

Hopefully, you are already convinced that the diet (way of eating) is awesome and have started or will soon start this journey to better health.

If so, the following tips should be followed in order to receive the greatest benefits possible from the Mediterranean diet.

5 Tips for the Mediterranean Diet

  1. Eat lots of fresh fruit daily

Since fruits grow abundantly in the Mediterranean’s warm climate, the people love their fruit and eat several servings every day. Doing so, not only diminishes sugar cravings, they are a good source of fiber, and provide many important nutrients for your body.

There are many fresh fruits available on the market – organic is the best choice, if available. Eat your favorites and try new ones – they are all good for you. Kiwi, pomegranate, figs, berries, apricots, apples and bananas are all popular fruits that are commonly found in the Mediterranean area.

  1. Use olive oil as your staple fat

This is a fundamental necessity of the Mediterranean Diet. Almost all of your cooking should be done with extra virgin olive oil, which is extremely beneficial to the body. It is known as liquid gold because it is full of anti-oxidant properties and monounsaturated fatty acids.

A study published in the journal Pharmacological Research found:

People who regularly consume olive oil are much less likely to develop cardiovascular diseases, including hypertension (high blood pressure), stroke, and hyperlipidemia (high blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels). They also found that regular olive oil intake helps reduce inflammation, endothelial dysfunction (problems with the inner linings of blood vessels), thrombosis and carbohydrate metabolism.

A study published in the scientific journal, Diabetes Care, showed that a Mediterranean style diet rich in olive oil reduced the risk of Type II Diabetes by almost 50% compared to a low-fat diet.

As you can see, olive oil is highly beneficial to your health. Use it to roast or lightly sauté your vegetables, sprinkled over a fresh salad, or anytime to enhance the taste and flavor of your cooking.

Hydrogenated vegetable oils must be avoided completely. They are one of the main causes of obesity in the world. These are dangerous to your health and are loaded with Omega-6 fatty acids when the body needs is Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish and olive oil.

  1. Eat lots of green leafy vegetable

These should be part of your diet even if you are not on the Mediterranean Diet. They are rich in nutrients and low in calories, which makes them ideal for weight management.

They are also rich in folic acid, vitamin C, potassium, and magnesium, while being low in fat and high in fiber – all of which helps reduce the risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease.

  1. Eat fish often.

Any kind of fish will do – tilapia, cod, grouper, salmon, tuna, etc. Along with olive oil, fish oil is also an important component in the Mediterranean diet. Always buy fresh fish when you can and freeze extra for later use.

You can also buy frozen fish. Fish that you buy from the grocer’s freezer is typically quick frozen as soon as it is caught, which means that you are getting all the nutrients you would if you ate the same piece of fish fresh. Buying frozen fish also generally offers a greater variety.

Keep your intake of other meats such as chicken, beef and pork low. Lower consumption of saturated fat probably accounts for the much lower risk of heart disease associated with this diet.

  1. Drink a glass of red wine every night after dinner

You do not have to do this, but if you enjoy wine, we recommend it. It is a key component in the Mediterranean diet. Notice it says “a glass of wine” meaning ONE glass. (No more than one glass/day for women and two glasses/day for men.)  This does not give you an excuse to drink a bottle or more of wine each. day.

Too many people are in the habit of guzzling down beers or knocking down shots of tequila or Sambuca which is very unhealthy. We are also not recommending other types of alcohol such as bourbon, vodka, etc. that are poisonous to the body

It is believed that red wine contains antioxidants, such as flavonoids or a substance called resveratrol that have heart-healthy benefits. Enjoy your evening glass of wine – your heart will thank you.

In Closing

Following the five tips above for the Mediterranean Diet will improve your health. The Mediterranean Diet is the easiest diet in the world to follow – it is not strange or restrictive. With only a few small changes, you should be able easily adapt your eating habits and enjoy all the delicious foods.

If you are truly interested in giving this diet a shot . . . Just found a new article that could be helpful:

15 Health Benefits of the Mediterranean Diet, According to Science (+ How to Get Started / Diet Plan