If you love to eat fish, vegetables, whole-grain bread, and olive oil, we have great news for you. The Meditteranean diet has been named 2019’s best by US News and World Report’s expert team of panelists. In fact, numerous studies have linked the region’s food to stronger bones, healthier hearts, weight loss, and longer lifespans.
The panel of judges and experts in heart disease, diabetes, and food science analyzed 41 different eating plans and discovered that the Mediterranean diet led the competition in several categories: best diet for healthy eating, best plant-based diet, the best diet for diabetes, best heart-healthy diet, and easiest diet to follow. Over the years, numerous studies found the diet can reduce the risk for diabetes, high cholesterol, dementia, memory loss, depression, and breast cancer.
The diet also offers flexibility as Greeks, Italians, French and Spanish all eat differently. However, according to the report, all of them emphasize 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.” You can also top it off with red wine if you wish but remember to stay physically active.
“It’s more than a diet, it’s a lifestyle,” said Atlanta registered dietitian Rahaf Al Bochi, who teaches the Mediterranean diet to her clients. “It also encourages eating with friends and family, socializing over meals, mindfully eating your favorite foods, as well as mindful movement and exercise for a completely healthy lifestyle.”
The diet also allows for the occasional indulgence. “Whether it’s a glass of red wine on the Mediterranean diet or a piece of cake on Weight Watchers, it allows people to plan for an indulgence that would otherwise be forbidden,” said CNN contributor and registered dietitian Lisa DrayerDrayer. “So much about weight loss is mental, and being able to incorporate all foods, including a treat, is really important for any healthy eating plan.”
The report also says that exercise is required on the diet but it doesn’t have to feel like exercise. “Walking, often a central part of a Mediterranean lifestyle, is a good place to start, but add whatever you like into the mix – be it Jazzercise, gardening or Pilates. Do anything you can stick with.”
If eating properly is one of your New Year’s resolutions, then Mediterranean food is the best way to go.
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