Health Experts rank Mediterranean Diet as the Best Diets Overall

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The Mediterranean Diet Pyramid
Image source: Oldways

A panel of health experts evaluated 39 different types of diets and they concluded that that the Mediterranean diet is the best overall for 2021, according to the latest rankings released by the U.S. News and World Report.

It is the fourth consecutive year that health experts ranked the Mediterranean diet as number one in offering great health benefits including weight loss, preventing cancer, cognitive decline, dementia, diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. it also helps in preventing chronic disease and Alzheimer’s disease.

What is a Mediterranean diet?

The Mediterranean diet –– an eating pattern that follows the way people in the Mediterranean region have traditionally eaten. It is focused on eating fruits and vegetables, beans, nuts, legumes, whole grains, olive oil, flavorful herbs, fish, and seafood.

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Health experts once again chose the Mediterranean diet as the Best Diets Overall  because it is easy to follow, evidence-based, and nutritionally balanced. 

The Mediterranean diet also earned the top spot in the categories of Easiest Diets to Follow, Best Diets for Healthy Eating and Best Diets for Diabetes, Best Plant-Based Diets, and Best Heart-Healthy Diets.

Angela Haupt, managing editor of health at U.S. News and World Report said there are “no surprises about which diets perform well here and that’s because we all know which foods we’re supposed to be eating more.”

She added, “Across the board, the top diets overall allow for flexibility and some freedom.”

The most sensible and nutritionally sound diet

It simply means following the traditional eating pattern of people living in the Mediterranean region such as Greece, France and Italy.

This eating pattern heavily focuses on including more green produce, legumes, nuts and olive oils into your diet. Dairy products are consumed in moderation, while people need to cut back on poultry and red meat. 

“Having a glass of wine is just fine, too,” according to Haupt. “On an average day, you might have smoked salmon for breakfast, or maybe a slice of whole-grain toast with half of a mashed avocado. Lunch could be gazpacho soup or a spiced lentil salad, and then for dinner, perhaps penne pasta with roasted cherry tomatoes, olives, capers and pine nuts.”

The Mediterranean diet started in the 1960s after health experts saw people living in the Mediterranean region dying less from heart-related diseases as compared to the United States and other parts of Europe. 

In fact, the Word Health Organization (WHO)  described the diet trend as healthy and sustainable.

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