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 characterized by high consumption of olive oil, fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes (such as beans, peas and lentils), as well as moderate consumption of fish and wine. The DASH diet was designed to help treat or prevent high blood pressure (hypertension) with a diet low in sodium and high in whole grains, fruits and vegetables.
The traditional Mediterranean diet is defined as the dietary patterns and lifestyle followed for centuries by people around the Mediterranean Sea, in parts of Greece and Southern Italy. The first studies on this diet took place in the 1950s by American scientist Dr. Ancel Keys, during now-famous “Seven Countries Study” of nearly 13,000 people in the United States, Greece, Italy, Japan, Finland, Holland and Yugoslavia.
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.
Other healthy characteristics of the Mediterranean diet include eating mostly unprocessed and fresh foods, exercising regularly, sharing meals with others, and if desired – drinking wine with meals (up to one serving per day for women, and up to two servings per day for men).
At Pangea Nutrition, our team of doctors, dietitians and chefs hope to make following the Mediterranean diet as easy as possible. Click here to learn more about steps you can begin today to follow the Mediterranean diet. Cheers to your health!