A simple Internet search will give you numerous diet trends and plans, but how do you determine their benefits and efficacy? Worry not, the annual ranking of the US News and World Report has now revealed the best diets for 2021, and for the fourth consecutive year, the top award goes to the Mediterranean diet.
The diet, which involves consuming the traditional foods of the Mediterranean region, became the top contender owing to its easy to follow, evidence-based, and nutritionally balanced considerations. The diet, that stresses the consumption of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, has been considered one of the most healthy diets to prevent lifestyle conditions including heart ailments, and also promote longevity.
The annual rankings were decided by a panel of nutritionists and experts in the field of diabetes, heart health, and weight loss, and the Mediterranean diet was chosen out of 39 eating plans, including Keto, Weight Watchers and Atkins.
The DASH and the flexitarian diets, which are similar to the Mediterranean diet, grabbed the second and third spots in the same category. Not only that, in addition to maintaining its top position as the Best Diet Overall, the Mediterranean diet also made it to the top spot in the Best Diets for Healthy Eating, Easiest Diets to Follow, Best Diets for Diabetes, and Best Plant-Based Diets categories.
On the flip side, the most searched diets like Keto diet, Whole30, and Atkins were ranked among the lowest because of their poor sustainability and restrictions.
What is the Mediterranean diet?
The diet pattern originated in the 1960s after it was recognised that people living in the Mediterranean countries die less from coronary heart disease as compared to the US and other parts of Europe.
Even the Word Health Organisation (WHO) has recognised it as a healthy and sustainable dietary pattern. Numerous studies indicate that the Mediterranean diet can help lose weight, prevent heart attacks, strokes, type 2 diabetes, and premature death.
Mediterranean diet simply means following the traditional eating pattern of people living in the Mediterranean region like Greece, France, and Italy. This diet trend focuses on including more green produce, whole grains, legumes, nuts and olive oils. While poultry, fish and red meat consumption are limited to weekly basis, dairy products are to be consumed in moderation. It also says that one should remain physically active and consume red wine in moderation.