Source of Mediterranean Diet Carbohydrate: Whole Grains
The main source of carbohydrates in the Mediterranean diet are healthy whole grain cereals and products. Among the whole grains consumed are bulgur wheat, couscous, durum wheat, farro, millet, rice, etc.
Whole grains such as bulgur wheat and farro, are usually served as a salad. Couscous and millet, on the other hand, are usually cooked in the way of rice. For durum wheat, it is always processed into flour, which is used to make pasta.
Key Flavoring Ingredients in Mediterranean Recipes: Herbs and Spices
Herbs and spices are important ingredients that give Mediterranean dishes their distinct identity. For seasoning or adding flavour to Mediterranean diet dishes, different herbs and spices are used.
Some examples of herbs and spices used are basil, bay leaf, parsley, rosemary, anise, cumin seeds, etc. Parsley, for example, is usually used to set off the strong flavour of red meat, therefore always associated with red meat dishes and stew.
Dairy foods such as milk, cheeses and yoghurt are consumed in moderate amounts in the Mediterranean diet. Different types of cheese are produced by different countries around the Mediterranean Sea. Among these countries are France, Italy, Greek, Spanish, etc.
List of Mediterranean Protein Foods: Seafood, Poultry and Meats
Fish and seafood are important as well as the main sources of protein in the Mediterranean diet. These foods are consumed frequently, at least two times a week.
Fishes and seafood are more preferred to poultry and red meats, which are less healthy. Poultry (including eggs) are taken in moderate amounts while red meats are less frequent.
Besides beef, pork and lamb, mutton and goat are also among the meats that are consumed. Beef is the meat from bovines, especially cattle, while pork and goat are meat from domestic pigs and domestic goats respectively. Both lamb and mutton are meat from sheep. Lamb is meat from young baby sheep which is tender and has little fat, with pink or pale red colour. Mutton is meat from older and mature sheep that is richer in flavour and has lots of fat. It has a dark red colour and is tough. It needs to be cooked slowly but longer cooking time.