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Building a Mediterranean Pantry for International Mediterranean Diet Month

The main components of a Mediterranean lifestyle, such as following a Mediterranean diet that's full of a variety of flavors while enjoying meals with family and friends (even virtually!), meet the recommendations made by the 2020‍-‍2025 Dietary Guidelines and the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans.

With plant-based foods such as whole grains, vegetables, fruits, oils, dry beans, peas, lentils and chickpeas, nuts and spices as the base of meals, plus meat, seafood and dairy as accompaniments, the best aspect of following a Mediterranean lifestyle is that you and your family are not following a diet at all. Rather, you are making more of a shift in how you think about building meals (and your pantry)!

Here are some favorite go-to pantry must-haves from the Oldways Mediterranean Foods Alliance to add more flavor and nutrition to your family's meals this May in celebration of International Mediterranean Diet Month:

 

GRAINS 

Choose mostly whole grain options such as those that contain the word "whole" as the first ingredient (e.g.: whole wheat bread).

Barley
Bread
Bulgur
Cereals
Couscous
Crackers
Oatmeal
Pasta
Pita
Polenta
Rice

 

SEAFOOD 

Aim for oily fish containing heart‍-‍healthy omega‍-‍3 fats most often.

Cod
Clams
Crab
Salmon
Scallops
Shrimp
Tilapia
Tuna

 

LIQUID OILS AND FATS

Store in a cool, dark place so they last longer.

Avocado Oil
Canola Oil
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Grapeseed Oil

 

HERBS AND SPICES

Fresh herbs and spices add flavor without adding fat or salt.

 

DRY BEANS, PEAS, LENTILS AND CHICKPEAS

Add fiber and protein to meals and eat in place of meat at least one meal a week.

Black Beans
Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans)
Hummus
Lentils
Navy Beans
Pinto Beans

 

DAIRY AND EGGS

Sprinkle in flavor and nutrition, such as vitamin D and calcium, to meals.

Cheese
Eggs
Lowfat Milk
Yogurt

 

NUTS AND SEEDS

Enjoy as butters or as-is for protein, fiber and heart‍-‍healthy fats.

Almonds
Cashews
Flax Seeds
Peanuts
Pine Nuts
Sunflower Seeds
Walnuts

 

FRUITS

Choose fresh, frozen, dried, canned and 100% fruit juice varieties without added sugars.

Apples
Avocados
Bananas
Blueberries
Cherries
Grapes
Kiwis
Oranges
Peaches
Plums
Pomegranate
Strawberries

 

VEGETABLES

Choose fresh, frozen, canned and 100% vegetable juice options.

Bell Peppers
Broccoli
Carrots
Eggplant
Garlic
Green Beans
Kale
Mushrooms
Olives
Onions
Peas
Spinach
Squash
Tomatoes (fresh, canned and sauce)
Zucchini