vegetables at a grocery store

One of the Mediterranean diet’s greatest strengths is that it’s not super restrictive. While some diets call for sticking to a list of food that’s depressingly short, the Mediterranean diet is more of a ~lifestyle~ that emphasizes nutritious, whole foods without completely forbidding anything. If you’re unfamiliar with the diet, though, that freedom makes grocery shopping pretty open-ended, which could be overwhelming when you’re staring at the produce in the grocery store.

Luckily, for anyone who appreciates the structure of a checklist, you can opt to bring this Mediterranean diet shopping list to the store. (Related: 5 Mediterranean Diet Health Benefits That Make It One of the Best Ways to Eat)

Mediterranean Diet Basics

First, though, you should familiarize yourself with the fundamentals of the Mediterranean diet. As the name suggests, it’s based on the eating style of people who live in the Mediterranean region, which includes a lot of fish, legumes, vegetables, and healthy fats like olive oil. A common way to frame the diet is thinking about it as a food pyramid. At the bottom are the foods you should eat the most of: fish, produce, and legumes. Next, in the middle are the foods you should eat moderately: whole grains, lean meat, dairy, wine, and healthy fats. Finally, the very top of the pyramid signifies foods you should eat sparingly: red meat as well as sugary, highly processed foods.

Sounds pretty reasonable right? Yep, not only is the Mediterranean diet easy to stick with, it’s constantly getting recognized by nutrition pros as one of the healthiest ways to eat, period, thanks to its emphasis on plant-based foods and seafood.

Now that you’re refreshed on the basics of the eating style, putting together a Mediterranean diet shopping list will be a piece of cake. If you’re looking for recipe inspiration, consult this Mediterranean diet meal plan and create your shopping list from there. Otherwise, draw from the master Mediterranean diet shopping list below to prep for your upcoming grocery haul. Keep in mind that by nature the Mediterranean diet isn’t exclusionary, so just because a food is absent from this list doesn’t mean it’s off-limits. Just consider this list a lineup of key players that are central to the diet. (Related: 50 Easy Mediterranean Diet Recipes and Meal Ideas)

Mediterranean Diet Shopping List

Meat/Fish

  • Anchovies
  • Chicken
  • Cod
  • Lamb
  • Lobster
  • Mussels
  • Salmon
  • Sardines
  • Shrimp
  • Tuna

Grains

  • Barley
  • Brown rice
  • Bulgur
  • Couscous
  • Farro
  • Quinoa
  • Whole grain bread
  • Whole grain pasta

Legumes/Nuts

  • Cannellini beans
  • Chickpeas
  • Kidney Beans
  • Lentils
  • Pistachios
  • Walnuts

Fruits

  • Apples
  • Apricots
  • Avocado
  • Cantaloupe
  • Dates
  • Grapefruit
  • Grapes
  • Lemons
  • Oranges
  • Watermelon

Vegetables

  • Artichoke
  • Arugula
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Cucumbers
  • Celery
  • Eggplant
  • Escarole
  • Figs
  • Kale
  • Mushrooms
  • Olives
  • Onions
  • Peppers
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Spinach
  • Tomatoes
  • Zucchini

Eggs/Dairy

  • Eggs
  • Feta cheese
  • Goat cheese
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Ricotta cheese
  • Yogurt

Condiments/Herbs

  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Basil
  • Dill
  • Garlic
  • Hummus
  • Olive oil
  • Oregano
  • Parsley
  • Pesto
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Rosemary
  • Tahini
  • Thyme
  • Tomato sauce

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