The Mediterranean Diet – Still #1
It seems like there’s a new diet trending every single day. (And the list amps up with the start of every new year.) But one continuously reigns supreme: the Mediterranean diet. Out of 41 of the most popular diets out there, U.S. News & World Report identified the Mediterranean diet as the best overall diet for 2019. (The DASH and Flexitarian diets ranked second and third, respectively.)
Not only did this diet rank best overall, it took gold in other subcategories: best diet for diabetes, healthy eating, heart healthy and plant based. And it’s pretty easy to see why. Research has long asserted the health benefits of the Mediterranean way of eating:
- preventing heart disease
- preventing stroke
- boosting longevity
- boosting bone health
- lessening chance of Alzheimer’s
- and more..
But what sparked our interest further—this diet rated number one for “easiest diet to follow.” Incorporate the Mediterranean diet into your, well, diet in a few simple steps. Easy-peasy.
- Eat: salmon, tuna (fresh or canned in water), sardines, mackerel, trout, mussels, clams, etc.
- How often: 2x weekly
- Benefits: omega-3 fatty acids aid in preventing heart disease and stroke, relieve rheumatoid arthritis symptoms, fight inflammation and autoimmune disease, among other advantages
- Eat: extra virgin olive oil; also, gain healthy oils from fatty fish, seeds and nuts (walnuts and almonds in particular), olives, avocados, avocado oil, sunflower oil, canola oil, etc.
- How often: daily
- Benefits: can help you live longer
- Eat: cannellini beans, fava beans, lentils, chickpeas
- How often: weekly
- Benefits: can lower blood pressure and regulate blood sugar
Fruits & vegetables
- Eat: tomatoes, spinach, kale, cauliflower, artichokes, cucumbers, apples, bananas, grapes, etc.
- How often: daily; the American Heart Association recommends a daily intake of 4-5 servings.
- Benefits: too numerous to count, but good for your waistline and heart, for starters
- Eat: whole-grain breads and pastas, cereal, farro, brown rice, barley, couscous
- How often: daily
- Benefits: reduces blood cholesterol levels, risk of certain chronic diseases and constipation
What should I limit?
Red meat should decorate your plate just once monthly. Other items to enjoy in moderation include dairy (yogurt, cheese), eggs, poultry and wine (particularly red). Reduce salt; rather, opt for spices and herbs.