Mediterranean Diet Food List

Mediterranean diet plate | printable Mediterranean shopping list

If you are trying to eat healthy, chances are high that you’ve heard of a popular eating style, based on the traditional Mediterranean diet. But, you don’t have to live around the Mediterranean to adhere to it. Reasons for following the Mediterranean diet vary, and often, part of trying to make healthier choices. Let’s dive into the foods that are part of a Mediterranean diet food list plus a Mediterranean shopping list to incorporate into thinking about a Mediterranean diet plate.

Mediterranean Diet Food List

We’ve pulled together the components below for you into a Mediterranean diet food list printable in case you want to keep it on your fridge as a reference or to use as a Mediterranean diet shopping list.

Mediterranean shopping list to print out to create meals around the  Mediterranean diet plate.

The Mediterranean Way

The Mediterranean way focuses on whole foods rather than processed food. Consider the components of the Mediterranean diet plate.


A traditional Mediterranean diet a foundation of fresh vegetables. We know the moniker “eat your vegetables” and it exists for a reason. Vegetables fill you up and are full of nutrition. Another moniker and nudge to “taste the rainbow” pertains to veggies too. Eating a variety of vegetables—both non-starchy and starchy—bring you different health benefits. So, consider making the biggest part of your Mediterranean diet plate vegetables. Another reason, veggies come first is that this style of healthy eating prioritizes plant based food. This isn’t to say one has to be vegetarian or vegan, but it does underscore the importance of vegetables. 


Feast on fruit! More monikers like “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” are a cultural nod to why fruit is another important addition to healthy eating. Fresh fruits and dried fruits including Sun-Maid and Orchard Choice Dried Figs bring a host of nutritional benefits. They also are a great substitute for when you are craving something sweet but without the added sugar and are great toppers for Greek yogurt or on peanut butter toast.

Whole Grains

Add grains to your Mediterranean diet shopping list, but instead of buying refined grains, (think white rice or pasta that’s not whole grain), stock your pantry with whole grains. You can find out more about the benefits of whole grains here. Learn more about whole grain bread and find whole grain bread recipes.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

When it comes to fat, monounsaturated fat, extra virgin olive oil is the main source of fat on a traditional Mediterranean diet, rather than saturated fats, trans fats, or unsaturated fats. You might be surprised how much olive oil is consumed. This isn’t the only kind of fat used but it’s the one used most often.

Beans and Legumes and Nuts

Beans, legumes, and nuts are all terrific plant based food protein sources. Mix it up and incorporate them into your meal planning.

Herbs, Spices + Seeds

Seeds add crunch and flavor, but also health benefits on their own, depending on the seed (chia seeds and flaxseeds come to mind here). Spices and herbs are other solid ways to season food without needing to add extra salt.

Fresh Fish + Seafood

Fresh fish and fatty fish like salmon are the preferred animal-based protein on the Mediterranean diet. It makes sense from several directions—if you consider Greek food as an example, fish plays a prominent role because fish is readily available, pulled directly from the Mediterranean Sea. Then, on the other side, most fish is a leaner protein than say red meat, and even fatty fish like salmon is high in omega-3 fatty acids.

Poultry + Eggs

Chicken breast and turkey breast are leaner forms of animal-based protein and eggs, which are a complete source of protein. 

Cheese + Yogurt

Cheese and yogurt are not just made of cow’s milk. Consider yogurt made of goat milk or goat cheese as an alternative. Sheep’s milk cheese is another good option too.

Find ideas for Mediterranean cooking

If you’re trying to answer what’s for dinner, we’ve got Mediterranean Diet recipes for you that center on the ingredients that are part of the Mediterranean Diet food list. Plus, we’ve pulled together snacks for all those mid-morning and afternoon cravings. 

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