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More on the Mediterranean Diet


What is the Mediterranean Diet?

The Mediterranean Sea is surrounded by an extraordinarily diverse group of countries: Italy, France, and Spain to the north, Greece, Turkey, Israel, Lebanon, and Syria to the east, and to the south, the North African countries of Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria, and Libya. This means that there isn’t a single “diet” that encompasses the entire Mediterranean region—the spice-laden dishes of Morocco bear little resemblance to the lemon and caper-laced cuisine of southern Italy. Rather, the Mediterranean diet is about what these cuisines have in common: a daily emphasis on vegetables and fruits, beans and lentils, whole grains, more seafood than meat and poultry, and heart-healthy olive oil. This is the essence of the Mediterranean way of eating. Read our introduction to the fundamentals of the Mediterranean diet.

8 Easy Ways to Eat the Mediterranean Way

There is no denying that eating in accordance to the Mediterranean diet requires a shift in thinking: Portion sizes are smaller, less meat defines a serving size, and a meal often has several equally weighted dishes on the plate. These guidelines are designed to help you put the Mediterranean diet into practice. Read tips for eating the Mediterranean way.

Mediterranean Diet Shopping List

While you’ll find familiar ingredients like chicken and beef scattered throughout the Mediterranean, you’ll also find a lot of less familiar ingredients: grains like freekeh and farro, beans like cranberry and fava, meats like oxtail and quail, and seafood like monkfish and squid. To have success with Mediterranean cooking, you’ll have to stock your pantry with ingredients native to the Mediterranean (especially flavor building ingredients like sumac and pomegranate molasses, which the average American home cook might not have on hand). Read our guide to shopping for the Mediterranean Diet.

Everything You Need to Know About Olive Oil

Olive oil, which is simply juice pressed from olives, has been an important part of Mediterranean cooking for thousands of years. The highest grade, called extra-virgin, is lively, bright, and full- bodied, with flavors ranging from peppery to buttery depending on the varieties of olives used and how ripe they were when harvested. In the Mediterranean, Spain is the leading producer of olive oil, followed by Italy and Greece. In the United States, California is the top producer (and in fact is the source of our winning supermarket extra-virgin olive oil). Read our guide to buying, storing, and using olive oil.

The Mediterranean Diet Food Pyramid [INFOGRAPHIC]

This infographic shows you every component of the Mediterranean diet (and how to eat according to it). See our Mediterranean Diet Pyramid infographic. 


500+ Fresh, Flavorful Recipes The Complete Mediterranean Cookbook

This comprehensive cookbook translates the famously health Mediterranean diet for home cooks with a wide range of creative recipes, many fast enough to be made on a weeknight, using ingredients available at your local supermarket. 


225+ Recipes More Mediterranean

A highly-anticipated followup to our best-seller, The Complete Mediterranean Cookbook, this book lifts the lid on what ingredients fit into a Mediterranean diet (incorporating foods like salmon and avocado) and includes 225 brand-new plant-forward recipes.