Mediterranean diet voted best and easiest to follow by experts

According to Forbes, a third of us put healthier eating at the top of our New Year’s Resolutions each year. That might involve cutting out heavily processed foods or adding more greens to go-to meals, but given the daily bombardment of information we receive about what we should – and shouldn’t – be eating, there are millions among us who prefer to follow a specific dietary plan. But which is best? 

That accolade, says a new nutritional report from US News, goes to the Mediterranean diet. In fact, it’s the seventh year in a row that the olive oil and fresh produce rich diet that taken out the gold.  

Interestingly, the Mediterranean style of eating took first place in the rankings for the best diet nutritionally as well as being voted the easiest to follow, best for families to follow, best for healthy eating and best for heart, joints and bones, as well as for diabetes sufferers. 

Findings on the Mediterranean diet say that adherents can lower their risk of diabetes, dementia, memory loss, depression, high cholesterol and breast cancer while extending age expectancy and improving bone and heart health.  

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The main focus of the Mediterranean diet, which is more of a lifestyle than an actual diet in the traditional sense, is simple yet delicious dishes that are heavy on fruits, vegetables, olive oil and oily fish, and light on red meat, refined sugar and butter. Additionally, eggs, dairy and poultry are eaten in smaller quantities than in other diets.  


In second place on the list of 30 diets came DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension), with the MIND diet (Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay) diet capturing third. All three top diets focus on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans and seeds as staples. The vegan diet rounded out the Top 10.  

Among the more well-known diets to feature on the list were the Jenny Craig diet in 18th, Paleo in 20th, Keto in 25th and the Atkins diet in 26th. SlimFast came next in 27th followed by the controversial shake and supplements-led HerbaLife Nutrition diet in 29th.  

The lowest ranked diet on the list may come as a surprise to some. The raw food diet, which asks people to abstain from eating anything cooked, processed, microwaved, exposed to pesticides or that has been genetically engineered, got the thumbs-down for being too restrictive for most and downright unsafe for others. 

“The world of diet and nutrition can be overwhelming and filled with misinformation and inaccurate health claims,” says Shanley Chien, Senior Health Editor at US News, adding that she hopes the report will help clear up misperceptions about diets and assist people on their path to healthier eating.  

Click here to read the report for yourself.


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Photo source: Jez Timms, Unsplash