Traditional Mediterranean meals feature foods grown all around the Mediterranean Sea, and enjoyed along with lifestyle factors typical of this region. An eating pattern high in these foods promotes good health and weight control when consumed wisely. The majority of grains should be whole grains, such as wheat, oats, rice, rye, barley, and corn. Grains and grain products common to the traditional Mediterranean Diet include: barley, buckwheat, bulgur, farro, millet, oats, polenta, rice, wheatberries, breads, couscous, and pastas. Vegetables are an important staple of eating patterns of peoples in all the countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea, providing valuable nutrients and satiety. Raw vegetables are also a healthy vegetable option. Vegetables common to the traditional Mediterranean Diet include: artichokes, arugula, beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, celery, celeriac, chicory, collard greens, cucumbers, dandelion greens, eggplant, fennel, kale, leeks, lemons, lettuce, mache, mushrooms, mustard greens, nettles, okra, onions red, sweet, white, peas, peppers, potatoes, pumpkin, purslane, radishes, rutabaga, scallions, shallots, spinach, sweet potatoes, turnips, zucchini. Whole fresh fruit is ever-present in the Mediterranean. Olives and olive oil are central to the Mediterranean diet. Olive oil is the principal source of dietary fat used for cooking, baking, and for dressing salads and vegetables.
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