Healthy and cheap foods of the Mediterranean diet

7. Simple Greek yogurt

Although dairy products are part of the Mediterranean diet, they are consumed in smaller quantities than the typical American diet. The dairy superstar of the Mediterranean diet is undoubtedly Greek yogurt, which has about twice the protein of other yogurts. In addition, it provides calcium, nutrients and probiotics that promote intestinal health and fight inflammation.

It’s cheaper and healthier to buy a can of low-fat Greek yogurt, rather than the individually wrapped, flavored varieties, as flavored yogurts are often loaded with added sugar, says LeBlanc. Flavor the plain yogurt yourself with fresh or frozen fruit, a sprinkle of granola and a drizzle of honey.

Plus, Greek yogurt is a good substitute for mayonnaise and sour cream, or you can make it into a delicious sauce for grilled fish or chicken burgers by adding lemon juice and fresh dill. For dipping vegetables, try yogurt-based tzatziki sauce as a substitute for ranch dressing. Tzatziki also contains garlic, so this delicious sauce will give you the benefits of both foods.

8. Nuts and seeds in bulk

The Mediterranean diet includes a variety of nuts and seeds, such as almonds, cashews, chestnuts, hazelnuts, pine nuts, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds and walnuts. Nuts and seeds are excellent sources of protein, nutrients, and omega-3 fatty acids and have been linked to a reduced risk of cancer, heart disease and diabetes.

However, purchasing packaged nuts and seeds can quickly add to the cost of your purchase. Instead, LeBlanc suggests buying the products in bulk, as you can often find big savings and only buy what you need.

Try sprinkling sunflower seeds on a salad, chopped nuts on roasted vegetables, or pistachios on a cereal-based dish like pilaf and couscous. And don’t forget that a handful of nuts can be a hearty and healthy snack.