The Mediterranean diet – rich in healthy fats, fish, whole grains and products, and low in processed foods and red meat – has been named the best overall diet for 2021 by 2021. US News and World Report.
It is the fourth year in a row that the Mediterranean Diet has topped the site’s annual list.
A panel of nutritionists and specialists in diabetes, heart health and weight loss has made the Mediterranean Diet the best of 39 food plans.
Mediterranean diet and why you should consider it
Greece is known for its beautiful islands, friendly people and most importantly, delicious food. The locals are known to lead long lives full of energy. Their diet is so popular that all cultures follow it internationally and are loved by everyone for its positive health benefits.
Diet trends come and go, but the Mediterranean diet is one that is set to continue due to the wide variety of ingredients to be enjoyed and there are no restrictive restrictions imposed by other diets.
It’s an easy-to-follow diet that includes fresh, flavorful ingredients and full of delicious herbs, vital vitamins and minerals needed to support a healthy lifestyle.
The Mediterranean diet is one of the healthiest diets in the world, and is seen as a lifestyle, casting negative connotations with the word “diet”.
What do you expect to eat while enjoying this diet
The Mediterranean diet is not as strict as others, allowing for a variety of foods that can be enjoyed and easy to follow. The diet encourages the consumption of foods high in omega-3 and healthy fats, such as;
- olive oil
Individuals following this diet should reduce their intake of foods that contain:
- Excess sugar
- Trans fats
- Processed meats
- Refined oils
- Highly processed foods
The diet encourages healthy eating of foods made with fresh ingredients rather than processed foods that are harmful to gut health.
Here are 5 benefits that make the diet a must:
Good for your heart health
The Mediterranean Diet is known to benefit heart health by reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke. This is because of the omega-3 packed ingredients that are encouraged to be consumed while following this diet.
Good for your mind
Eating food full of heart-healthy ingredients also has wonderful benefits for your brain health. The Mediterranean diet may help prevent long-term memory loss as well as reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and other types of cognitive decline. About 60% of your brain is made up of fats, and half of it is made of omega-3. Not getting enough of this fatty acid is linked to learning impairment, as well as depression. Fortunately, the Mediterranean Diet is packed with healthy fatty foods to enjoy daily.
As we briefly mentioned above, the amount of omega-3 that your body consumes has an effect on one’s emotions which can lead to a person feeling depressed or happy. Omega-3 fatty acids are known to improve mood and can be found in items such as fatty fish. The Mediterranean diet also includes pills like quinoa that have been found to contain a flavonoid known to have a significant anti-depressant effect.
It is good for your gut
The Mediterranean diet encourages the consumption of a variety of fruits and vegetables that are known to improve healthy bacteria and provide overall positive effects on gut health. It also helps reduce inflammation and emphasize high-fiber foods.
People with arthritis may benefit from this diet
The diet includes ingredients with anti-inflammatory properties, so following this diet may eliminate arthritis symptoms. For example, bananas are high in magnesium and potassium that can increase bone density. Minerals like magnesium are also known to relieve symptoms of arthritis.
In general, the Mediterranean Diet is a fixed diet that everyone can enjoy. The diet encourages the consumption of fresh and nutritious ingredients that provide a variety of health benefits in addition to eliminating foods that will lead to health problems, weight gain and other negative effects. Many individuals choose to follow the Mediterranean diet and have more success sticking with it in the long run because the meal options to choose from are much broader compared to other diets.