Healthy and cheap foods of the Mediterranean diet

7. Plain Greek Yogurt

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

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

Plus, Greek yogurt is a good substitute for mayonnaise and sour cream, or you can make a delicious sauce for grilled fish or chicken burgers by adding lemon juice and fresh dill. For dipping veggies, try yogurt-based tzatziki sauce as a substitute for ranch dressing. Tzatziki also contains garlic, so this delicious sauce gives 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 great sources of protein, nutrients and omega-3 fatty acids and have been linked to a reduced risk of cancer, heart disease and diabetes.

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

Sprinkle sunflower seeds on a salad, crushed walnuts on roasted vegetables, or pistachios on a grain dish like pilaf and couscous. And don’t forget that a handful of nuts can be a hearty and healthy snack.