- The Mediterranean diet takes the top spot as the healthiest diet yet again, while last year’s most talked about ketogenic diet only ranked 38th.
- Experts say that the Mediterranean diet, which involves an increased intake of plant-based foods and decreased meat consumption, is the most beneficial for long-term health.
- Aside from its numerous benefits, the Mediterranean diet is also easy to sustain and is not overly restrictive like most popular diets.
Last year’s most talked about diet was the ketogenic diet, but according to U.S. News and World Report, the Mediterranean diet takes the top spot as the healthiest diet overall.
Forty-one (41) popular diet plans were examined and ranked by a panel of health experts, who concluded that the most universally beneficial eating plan for long-term health is indeed the Mediterranean diet.
The second healthiest was the DASH diet, followed by Weight Watchers as fourth, vegetarian as 11th, vegan as 20th, and Paleo as 33rd, while the ketogenic diet was tied with Whole30 for 38th.
According to registered dietitian Lauren Slayton, MS, RD, the Mediterranean diet’s composition provides “tremendous cardiovascular benefits,” as it emphasizes the consumption of foods rich in omega-3s and healthy fats, such as olive oil, fish, grains, nuts, legumes, fruits, and veggies.
As an added bonus, it’s easy to stick to as it’s not overly restrictive like most popular diets.
Here are some of the benefits of this most beloved diet:
1. It slows down the aging process.
Since the Mediterranean diet is composed mostly of anti-inflammatory foods like olive oil, nuts, and leafy greens, the body is protected against oxidative stress and inflammation, which can both slow down aging. Not only is it good for your entire body, but it also helps your brain.
2. It’s good for your gut.
According to one study, people who follow the Mediterranean diet had a higher population of good bacteria in their microbiome, compared to those who ate a traditional Western diet. Research showed that eating more plant-based foods like fruits, vegetables, and legumes increased the number of good bacteria by 7 percent.
3. It benefits post-menopausal women.
Since the Mediterranean diet plan involves an increased intake of plant-based foods and decreased meat consumption, it has been found to positively impact muscle mass in bone health in post-menopausal women.
Ironically, while the Mediterranean diet has benefited most of the world, the eating habits in the region from which it originated have worsened. According to the World Health Organization, the children in Italy, Greece, and Spain are less healthy than ever, with an obesity rate of more than 40 percent, partly because their diet contains more processed foods and soda than previous generations.
Experts have advised that Mediterranean countries only need to get back to their roots to remedy the situation.
If you’re planning to follow the Mediterranean diet, there are plenty of recipes you can find online that can help you get started.
Source: Well and Good