What do you expect to find in a Mediterranean diet grocery list?

November 4, 2013

What do you expect to find in a Mediterranean diet grocery list? This is not a question which is of concern to the Mediterranean diet followers! Med diet followers know that when they go to the grocery shop they will shop fresh and healthy products which will enable them to cook their favourite Mediterranean foods for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

We all know, as Mediterranean diet followers, that we are not on any weight loss program and we are not on any deprivation program either. We have adopted and follow a healthy way of leaving based on a proven diet, the Mediterranean Diet, which has been the diet of many nations and nationalities throughout the course of history. Mediterranean Diet has not been invented by someone with the aim of selling a product or a service and it is only promoted voluntarily by people who believe in this diet with the sole purpose of making this diet known to the rest of the world.

grocery shopping

One important parameter concerning our grocery list is that by following the Mediterranean diet we are not only eating healthier but we save money as well!! Off course you may ask: how is this possible? This is because in your mind you have associated cheap food with fast food which is definitely not healthy.

The Mediterranean Diet grocery list

Compiling a grocery list depends on many factors. It depends on factors like: whether you work or not, whether you cook every meal from the day before or the time you are about to eat it, for how many persons you cook, etc. The best way to handle a grocery list is by planning and in order to do this you need a printed or an electronic list of the items you usually shop. Using the list you may check what you have in stock and what you need to buy. The question of course may be, for how many meals do I plan and thus shop?

Usually people plan the meals of the week having in mind a balanced, from all aspects, meal plan based off course on the Mediterranean Diet pyramid and the frequency with which you can eat certain types of food. It goes without saying that the fresh fruits and vegetables can be and should be part of your daily meals and snacks. Your meal plan can be planned on a weekly basis and may have certain attributes like: Kid-friendly if it is a meal the kids love, vegetarian, fast or superfast if it is a meal you can make quickly, fish meal if it is based on fish etc. Another attribute to be taken into account when planning for the meals is the number of calories each component of our meal has. You may refer to various books or online lists about the number of calories each meal component has and you can act accordingly. It should be noted here that once you follow the Mediterranean diet, you eat moderately and exercise regularly you should not worry about calories since the Med diet gradually leads you to a healthy body with a normal and healthy Body Mass Index, BMI.

Special care should be taken when preparing the grocery list for people who have any kind of chronic diseases like Diabetes, Heart problems or for people with Muscular dystrophy or similar kind of diseases. Studies have proven that the Mediterranean diet helps people who suffer from various diseases but the grocery list should be adjusted accordingly. 

What should you include in your Grocery list?

As we know the Mediterranean diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, fish, whole grain cereal, dairy products and other healthy foods eaten less frequently such as white meat. So when you go out for groceries your grocery list should include all the previously mentioned foods but in different quantities depending on the weekly plan which was prepared.

Whole Grains: Your shopping list should definitely include whole grain foods, whole grain cereal and/or whole grain bread. Whole grains are part of the frequently eat category of the Mediterranean diet. Whole grain foods take longer to digest providing your body with all the healthy nutrients. If whole grain foods are expensive in your nearby grocery you may want to visit a wholesale store and store for not just a week but perhaps for the month.

Vegetables: Vegetables are part of the Mediterranean diet and you should shop and cook vegetables which are in season as they are usually cheaper than others. If however you desire or plan to eat vegetables which are not in season and you consider them expensive you should not be afraid to use frozen vegetables but not canned food. It is true that frozen vegetables lose some of their nutritional value but they are much better than canned vegetables.

Fish: You should definitely include at least one fish meal in your weekly meal plan. Fish is a basic component of the Mediterranean diet. Fish are rich in omega-3 antioxidants and there is a great variety of fish to suit every taste and desire. You can cook it alone or with pasta, grilled or in the oven. You should avoid fried fish.

Olive oil: Your grocery list should definitely include olive oil and olives. You can use olive oil as salad dressing or for your cooking. The beneficial effects of olive oil are well known and well documented by many studies.

White meats: If your weekly plan includes of meat, it better be white meat. You may have red meat once a month but white meat like poultry or Turkey can be consumed once a week. You can choose frozen meats if your budget cannot cover the cost of fresh white meat.

Cheese: Cheese is frequently used in the Mediterranean diet. White cheese is in the weekly consumption list while the more mature yellow cheese should consumed less frequently but it is still ok to be consumed.

Yogurt: Low fat yogurt is part of the Mediterranean diet and if you like to yogurt you should definitely switch to Greek Yogurt as it has increased benefits and it healthier with fewer calories than other kind of yogurts. So your grocery list should include Greek yogurt for the whole family as yogurt can be eaten as breakfast, part of your lunch or as a snack.

You should make grocery shopping fun and this can be certainly achieved by compiling your Mediterranean Diet Grocery list with the whole family and choosing foods, fruits and vegetables which will be eaten by all. Once you compile and pass through several grocery lists you will realize that your trip to the Grocery store is fun and interesting since you will be learning a lot and you will passing through all the healthy food sections of the store and you will smell the fresh fruits and vegetables.

Andrea Aurelio
About the author

Andrea Aurelio adopted the Mediterranean diet and the Mediterranean way of living after evaluating a series of diets and realizing that the Mediterranean diet is a proven diet and the best way to adopt a healthy lifestyle. You can connect with him on Google+, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

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