What Foods Are Not Allowed On The Mediterranean Diet

    mediterranean diet

    Martin Alvarez

    Martin Alvarez
    Nutritionist/Dietitian Professional Guide

    Updated on 11/26/2022

    • It is known that following a Mediterranean diet can help you lose weight and keep your heart healthy.
    • Vegetables, complete grains, and legumes are some of the items that are emphasized in this diet.
    • People who follow the Mediterranean diet are not "prohibited" from eating many things, in contrast to those who follow specific other diets.
    • On the Mediterranean diet, you should stay away from foods like red meat, the stevia sugar that has been added, and processed carbohydrates.

    mediterranean diet

    The Mediterranean diet is a type of eating plan that places emphasis on consuming foods like whole grains, vegetables, legumes, seafood, and olive oil. While many diets are defined by the things that you are not allowed to consume, this is not the case with the Mediterranean diet. As a result of this, many people discover that the Mediterranean diet is more about increasing the number of nutritious foods they eat rather than decreasing the amount of "unhealthy" items they consume.

    "The Mediterranean diet is one in which you are permitted to have a far wider variety of foods than the Atkins diet, the ketogenic diet, and many of these other diets. Lisa DeFazio, a nutritionist and author of "The Women's Health Big Book of Smoothies and Soups," says that this is the reason why it is effective for a large number of individuals "revealed to INSIDER. "There is a wide selection of dishes, so customers may pick and choose what works best for them."

    If you are going to try to stick to the diet, there are some kinds of food that you should steer clear of. Listed below are seven foods that should be avoided at all costs while adhering to a Mediterranean diet.
    On this diet, eating a lot of red meat or meat, in general, is not recommended.

    mediterranean diet

    The consumption of meat is relatively light in the Mediterranean diet.
    According to DeFazio, who spoke to INSIDER about the Mediterranean diet, the diet has a "slight vegetarian slant," meaning that animal protein is used more as a supplement to the meal than as a main dish.

    Following a Mediterranean diet, you should cut back on your consumption of all types of meat, especially red meat. As advised by the Mayo Clinic, a Mediterranean diet should only include the consumption of red meat a few times a month at the most.

    Your First Choice Must Exclude Any Kind Of Processed Meat.

    mediterranean diet

    Chicken and fish are better options than bacon for those following the Mediterranean diet. Rick Wilking/Reuters
    You can also make an effort to cut back or eliminate your consumption of cured and processed meats like bacon, salami, and sausage.

    Fish are high in protein, and omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, mackerel, or tuna, are great options for those who wish to consume animal protein.

    According to DeFazio, who spoke with INSIDER, “Fish is the number one [animal protein source], even over chicken.”

    You Should Make Every Effort To Stay Away From Added Sugars

    mediterranean diet

    Instead of using artificial sweeteners, you might try sweetening your coffee or tea with natural sweeteners like honey. 
    Because the Mediterranean diet does not include a significant amount of added sugars, eating a moderate amount of added sugars is recommended for those following this diet. This includes avoiding sweets like candies and most baked items and beverages sweetened with sugar or syrup, such as soda and fake juices.

    To satisfy your desire for something sweet, you could consider eating fruit or baked goods created with fruit and natural sweeteners such as honey and cinnamon.

    This Diet Is Free From Any Hard Liquors

    mediterranean diet

    Red wine is a far better option for individuals following this diet than vodka would be. Nordroden/Shutterstock
    If you choose to partake in alcoholic beverages, it is recommended that you stick to wine rather than more potent liquors.

    According to what DeFazio shared with INSIDER, "there isn't a lot of vodka and tequila on this diet." The mere fact that wine may be consumed does not imply that one should do so with every meal. On this diet, you should limit your wine consumption to no more than one glass each day.

    There Are Dietary Alternatives To Refined Grains Compatible With The Mediterranean Diet.

    mediterranean diet

    White rice can be substituted with its brown counterpart. JacquesPALUT/iStock
    You should also avoid processed grains like white flour and white rice as much as possible because they have a poor fiber content and a low overall nutritious value. Instead, DeFazio suggests switching to items made with whole grains, such as pita bread, brown rice, and pasta made with whole wheat, instead of those made with white flour.

    Stay Away From Hydrogenated Oils


    Olive oil is a suitable substitute for butter in several different recipes. Shutterstock
    According to what DeFazio told INSIDER, "You'll want to rely more on olive oil as opposed to butter or other animal fats." You are free to consume other kinds of dairy products (after all, what is a Greek salad without some feta cheese?), but you should make an effort to limit how much you consume them.
    It is strongly recommended that you reduce the amount of hydrogenated oil that you consume.
    In place of palm oil, you should consume either olive oil or coconut oil when following this diet. iStock
    Even if it is recommended that you consume olive oil as part of the Mediterranean diet, you should stay away from hydrogenated oils. These oils include palm oil and palm kernel oil, among others.