January 16, 2021

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Simply The Best Food

Mediterranean Diet Tops The List Again

KEY POINTS

  • The U.S. News & World Report has released its annual list of the best diets 
  • The Mediterranean Diet took the top spot in various categories
  • It is said to be relatively easy to follow while providing a lot of health benefits

Trying a new diet for 2021? You may want to have a good look at the Mediterranean Diet.

The U.S. News & World Report has just released its annual Best Diets Overall list and for the fourth consecutive year, the Mediterranean took the top spot, followed by DASH Diet and Flexitarian Diet, which were tied for the second spot with a total score of 4.1 out of 5.

As always, the diets were ranked in various categories including the Easiest Diet to Follow and the Best Plant-Based Diet. In both categories, the Mediterranean Diet came first. It also shared the top spot with The Flexitarian Diet in the Best Diabetes Diets category and with the DASH Diet in the Best Diets for Healthy Eating category.

In another category, the Best Heart-Healthy Diets, the Mediterranean Diet shared the top spot with the DASH Diet and the Ornish Diet, which the news outlet described as “nutritionally sound” but may not be as easy to adhere to.

Among the best diets for weight loss, however, the Flexitarian Diet took the top spot along with the Weight Watchers (WW) Diet, which also claimed the top spot for Best Commercial Diet Plan.

On the other hand, the bottom of the list of Best Diets Overall includes the Dukan Diet, which the outlet described as being “too restrictive,” the high-fat low-carb Keto Diet and the Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS) Diet, which aims to eliminate “hard to digest foods.”

Pictured: Representative image of a salad. Photo: Dana Tentis/Pixabay

So what is it about the Mediterranean Diet that makes it the “best diet overall”?

As U.S. News & World Report explained, there isn’t exactly a specific Mediterranean diet since Mediterranean people tend to eat differently from one region to another. However, the basic idea of their diet runs similar.

“The pyramid emphasizes eating fruits, veggies, whole grains, beans, nuts, legumes, olive oil, and flavorful herbs and spices; fish and seafood at least a couple of times a week; and poultry, eggs, cheese and yogurt in moderation, while saving sweets and red meat for special occasions,” U.S. News & World Report explained, noting the addition of staying physically active and perhaps a glass of red wine.

Simply put, the Mediterranean eating plan focuses on healthy fats and choosing to consume protein from fish while reducing red meat and protein from other sources. 

The diet doesn’t really restrict any food group completely, making it a relatively easy diet to follow. And since it’s not as strict and generally just provides guidelines on which foods to emphasize, people can get creative with their meals when following the Mediterranean Diet, whether it’s by trying various recipes or switching some of the more expensive ingredients for cheaper ones.

According to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (HSPH), research has “consistently” shown the diet’s efficacy in reducing people’s risks for cardiovascular disease and mortality, while another study has linked the Mediterranean Diet to lower chances for death from stroke and for developing Type 2 diabetes.

“Research supports the use of the Mediterranean diet as a healthy eating pattern for the prevention of cardiovascular diseases, increasing lifespan, and healthy aging,” HSPH said. “When used in conjunction with caloric restriction, the diet may also support healthy weight loss.”

mediterranean diet for longevity mediterranean diet for longevity Photo: aytalina – Pixabay