For three years (since 2019), the Mediterranean diet has been named the best overall eating plan by U.S. News & World Report. The magazine, along with a panel of medical and nutrition experts, evaluated 39 diets to come up with its ratings. They also judged the Mediterranean plan the easiest to follow and tied for best diet for heart health and for diabetes.
So what makes this diet so popular with the doctors and dietitians?
For one thing, it has science behind it, says Nicole Brown, a nutrition consultant for the National Center for Health and Wellness and a registered dietitian with a private practice in Springfield, Virginia.
She points to studies that show the Mediterranean diet “can help reduce blood cholesterol and triglycerides, improve blood sugar levels and help lower blood pressure.”
It’s also pretty simple for people to follow, she adds.
“It emphasizes a variety of wholesome, nutrient-rich foods, like fruits, veggies, whole grains, fish and poultry, and essentially doesn’t exclude any foods, including small amounts of discretionary calories” — such as an occasional sweet treat, glass of red wine, or a small amount of red meat.
That kind of flexibility makes the diet appealing to her older clients, she says.
For those starting out with a diet high in beef, pork and sweets and low on whole grains, greens and fruit, she helps them slowly switch out red meat for chicken and fish and gradually add more grains, beans, vegetables and fruit.
“Over time, they get to the point where they’re having just four ounces of red meat a month.”
Find out more about how this eating plan works and how it benefits your health, as well as delicious recipes in the full article, "Mediterranean Diet On Top Once Again."
This content is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide any expert, professional or specialty advice or recommendations. Readers are urged to consult with their medical providers for all questions.