Source of Mediterranean Diet Carbohydrate: Whole Grains
The main source of carbohydrate 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 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 flavor to Mediterranean diet dishes, different herbs and spices are used.
Some examples of herb and spice used are basil, bay leaf, parsley, rosemary, anise, cumin seeds, etc. Parsley, for example, is usually used to set off the strong flavor of red meat, therefore always associated with red meat dishes and stew.
Dairy foods such as milk, cheeses and yogurt are consumed in moderate amount in 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 main source of protein in the Mediterranean diet. These foods are consumed frequently, at least two times in a week.
Fishes and seafood are more preferred to poultry and red meats, which are less healthy. Poultry (including eggs) are taken in moderate amount 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 color. Mutton is the meat from older and mature sheep that is richer in flavor and has lots of fat. It has a dark red color and is tough. It needs to be cooked slowly but longer cooking time.