For the third year in a row, the Mediterranean diet has been named the best overall in the U.S. News & World Report annual rankings. The Mediterranean diet shared top honors with the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet. The ketogenic diet, one of the most popular, again fared well in the annual survey, but only in the fast weight loss category. Mediterranean diet took first place for the best plant-based and heart-healthy diets.
The Dukan Diet, which limits carbs and emphasizes protein, came in at No. 35 on the overall list of best diets. Many people are doing keto wrong, says Molly Devine, director of nutrition for trumacro Nutrition. Whole 30 is too restrictive and not sustainable over the long term, according to experts. The “internet fad” version of the ketogenic diet may not be sustainable for the long term. A well-formulated ketogenic nutrition plan, through the help of a registered dietitian, can produce long-term and sustainable results.
What is Mediterranean diet
The Mediterranean diet is based on foods that people used to eat in countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea, including France, Spain, Greece, and Italy. There are no strict rules or regulations for the diet but it typically encourages fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, and heart-healthy fats. It can promote weight loss and help prevent heart attacks, strokes, type 2 diabetes, and premature death. The Mediterranean diet encourages a variety of nutrient-dense foods, including fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and heart-healthy fats. Multiple studies have found that the diet can reduce fasting blood sugar levels and improve levels of hemoglobin A1C, a marker used to measure long-term blood sugar control. The Mediterranean diet has also been shown to decrease insulin resistance, a condition that impairs the body’s ability to use insulin effectively.
Foods to Eat on Mediterranean diet
The Mediterranean diet is contentious, in part because it varies each country. Most studies look at a diet rich in nutritious plant foods and low in animal products and meat. However, eating fish and seafood twice a week is advised.
The Mediterranean way of life includes frequent exercise, communal meals, and minimal stress.
Choose from fresh, frozen, dried, and canned produce, but check for extra sugar and salt.
Your diet should consist of these healthy Mediterranean foods:
- Tomatoes, broccoli, kale, spinach, onions, cauliflower, carrots, Brussels sprouts, cucumbers, potatoes, turnips
- berries, dates, figs, melons, peaches
- Almonds, walnuts, macadamia nuts, cashews, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, almond butter, and peanut butter
- Beans, peas, lentils, chickpeas
- grains (oats, brown rice, rye, barley) bread and pasta (whole wheat)
- Salmon, trout, tuna, mackerel, shrimp, oysters, clams, crabs, mussels
- Chicken, duck, and turkey
- Eggs: quail, chicken, and duck
- Milk, cheese, yoghurt
- nutmeg, cinnamon, pepper, rosemary, sage
- Healthy fats: olives, avocados, and avocado oil
Healthy fats over harmful fats
The Mediterranean diet’s main source of fat is olive oil. Olive oil contains monounsaturated fat, which decreases total and LDL (or “bad”) cholesterol. The monounsaturated fat in nuts and seeds
These include mackerel, herring, sardines, albacore tuna and salmon. Polyunsaturated fats can reduce inflammation.
Omega-3 fatty acids can assist lower triglycerides, blood clotting, stroke and heart failure risk.
Mediterranean diets and wine are frequently linked It may be used in moderation. Aside from heart problems, alcohol has significant health hazards.
The Med way
Want to try the Mediterranean diet? Start with these ideas:
- Prepare meals with veggies, legumes, and grains.
- Consume fish twice a week.
- Cook using olive oil instead of butter.
- Dessert with fresh fruit
- Living the Mediterranean lifestyle includes exercise and eating with loved ones. Enjoy the perks!
Are Mediterranean-style diets AHA-approved?
Yes. A Mediterranean-style diet may help you meet the American Heart Association’s dietary guidelines, which include:
focuses on veggies, fruits, grains, beans, and legumes
such as low-fat dairy, chicken, non-tropical vegetable oils, and nuts;
Sugary drinks, refined carbs, saturated fats and fatty or processed meats are restricted.
Obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure are all risk factors for heart disease and stroke. This diet may help eliminate excess cholesterol from arteries and keep blood vessels open.
What about other fads?
Diets like paleo, ketogenic (or keto), Atkins, interval, zone, and Whole30 are well-known. Remember that not all popular diets fulfil the AHA’s scientific requirements for a healthy diet. Some provide quick effects but are not heart-healthy.
DASH, or Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, is another established healthy eating plan that conforms with AHA guidelines. It permits more dairy and meat, whereas the Mediterranean diet uses olive oil regularly.
A vegan or vegetarian diet may be beneficial.
The total quality of your diet is more essential than any one vitamin or item. Vegetables, fruits, legumes and lean proteins are good sources of nutrients. Limit items high in calories but low in nutrients.
Also, a healthy diet has numerous advantages.
Your diet impacts many elements of your health, including your brain. A nutritious diet may help you think, recall, and process information.
In one research, people who ate the healthiest at age 50 had a nearly 90% reduced risk of dementia than those who didn’t. The Mediterranean and DASH diets have been shown to benefit brain and heart health.
What the top-ranked diets have in common is that many emphasize plant foods as well as plenty of fruits and vegetables. “There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all diet,” says Ketogenic Diet expert Jennifer Haupt. Pay attention to the diet specifics before committing, she says. “You don’t need to cut out entire food groups,” she says, as some diets advise. And “in many of our top-performing diets, you absolutely do have the freedom to have that cookie when you want to”.