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A Mediterranean diet refers to food and lifestyle choices that are based on the traditions of countries located on the Mediterranean Sea. It focuses on eating more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, seeds, and heart-healthy fats, and eating less dairy, meat, eggs, and processed foods with added sugar, salt, and fat. This way of eating has been shown to help prevent certain conditions and improve outcomes for people who have chronic diseases, like kidney disease and heart disease.
Reading food labels
Apples. Apricots. Avocado. Berries. Bananas. Cherries. Dates. Figs. Grapes. Lemons. Melon. Oranges. Peaches. Plums. Pomegranate.
Artichokes. Beets. Broccoli. Cabbage. Carrots. Eggplant. Green beans. Chard. Kale. Spinach. Onions. Leeks. Peas. Squash. Tomatoes. Peppers. Radishes.
Whole-grain pasta. Brown rice. Bulgur wheat. Polenta. Couscous. Whole-wheat bread. Oatmeal. Quinoa.
Meats and other proteins
Beans. Almonds. Sunflower seeds. Pine nuts. Peanuts. Cod. Salmon. Scallops. Shrimp. Tuna. Tilapia. Clams. Oysters. Eggs. Poultry without skin.
Low-fat milk. Cheese. Greek yogurt.
Fats and oils
Extra-virgin olive oil. Avocado oil. Grapeseed oil.
Water. Red wine. Herbal tea.
Sweets and desserts
Greek yogurt with honey. Baked apples. Poached pears. Trail mix.
Seasonings and condiments
Basil. Cilantro. Coriander. Cumin. Mint. Parsley. Sage. Rosemary. Tarragon. Garlic. Oregano. Thyme. Pepper. Balsamic vinegar. Tahini. Hummus. Tomato sauce. Olives. Mushrooms.
The items listed above may not be a complete list of foods and beverages you can eat. Contact a dietitian for more information.
This is a list of foods that should be eaten rarely or only on special occasions.
Fruit canned in syrup.
Deep-fried potatoes (french fries).
Prepackaged pasta or rice dishes. Prepackaged cereal with added sugar. Prepackaged snacks with added sugar.
Beef. Pork. Lamb. Poultry with skin. Hot dogs. Bacon.
Ice cream. Sour cream. Whole milk.
Butter. Canola oil. Vegetable oil. Beef fat (tallow). Lard.
Juice. Sugar-sweetened soft drinks. Beer. Liquor and spirits.
Cookies. Cakes. Pies. Candy.
Mayonnaise. Pre-made sauces and marinades.
The items listed above may not be a complete list of foods and beverages you should limit. Contact a dietitian for more information.
This information is not intended to replace advice given to you by your health care provider. Make sure you discuss any questions you have with your health care provider.
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