For 2018, US News and World Report has ranked the number one overall best diet as a tie between the Mediterranean diet and the DASH diet.
The Mediterranean diet is based on the traditional diet and lifestyle followed for centuries in Greece and Southern Italy. It is high in olive oil, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and legumes (such as beans, peas, and lentils). It also contains a moderate amount of fish and wine.
The DASH diet, which stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, was designed to help treat or prevent high blood pressure (hypertension). This diet is low in sodium, total fat, and saturated fat. It is high in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables and also contains low-fat dairy, fish, poultry, beans, nuts, and vegetable oils.
As you can see, both healthy diets share many similarities.
Both diets recommend limiting red meats, sweets, and sugary drinks, and have shown improved results with increased exercise or physical activity.
Differences include the DASH diet’s emphasis on low sodium to improve blood pressure, and the Mediterranean diet’s emphasis on “good” unsaturated fats (from olive oil and nuts) which are associated with improved heart health.
The Mediterranean diet has now been studied for decades and is recommended by doctors and scientists around the world.
Research studies have linked the Mediterranean diet to decreased risk of health problems including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, dementia and stroke. The Mediterranean diet has also been praised as one of the easiest diets to follow.
At Pangea Nutrition, we want to help people live longer, healthier lives. Click here to learn more about simples steps to following the Mediterranean diet, or talk to a healthcare professional about a diet and exercise program that is best for you.
Cheers to your health!