5 reasons to try the Mediterranean diet named best diet – for weight loss, diabetes, heart health and more  |  Photo Credit: iStock Images
- The Mediterranean diet been linked to a number of health benefits
- The Mediterranean diet is one of the most popular plans among dieters trying to lose weight or simply wish to boost their health
- Here’s why you may consider adopting the Mediterranean diet and what you can eat on the eating plan
New Delhi: The Mediterranean diet has been named as the best overall diet for the fourth time in a row, according to US News & World Report’s annual ranking. The DASH diet, short for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, and Flexitarian diet tied in at number two spot for best overall diet.
The Mediterranean diet, which has received a lot of attention from the medical community as studies prove its benefits, also bagged the top spot in the best diets for healthy eating and diabetes. The Mediterranean diet also grabbed the No. 1 spot in the best plant-based diets and best heart-healthy diets. Meanwhile, the low-carb Keto diet, GAPS diet and Dukan diet were named as the worst diets of 2021.
What is the Mediterranean diet?
A traditional Mediterranean diet is typically high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds and olive oil. The eating plan includes less dairy and meat than a typical Western diet. The diet is often recommended by doctors and dietitians to help prevent disease and keep people healthy for longer.
Why you should try the Mediterranean diet
The fact is that the Mediterranean diet contains a variety of essential nutrients and food groups, which can help prevent disease or improve your health in many ways. Here, we list some benefits of eating the Mediterranean diet:
- Weight loss: Although the Mediterranean diet is not a weight loss diet, increasing intake of fibre, healthful fats, vitamins and minerals while cutting out animal fats, red meat and processed food may support weight loss. In fact, a 2016 review reported that obese or overweight people lost more weight on the Mediterranean diet compared to a low-fat diet. Hence, pairing the Mediterranean with a healthy lifestyle could result in better weight loss.
- Better heart health: If you’re looking for a heart-healthy diet plan, this eating plan might be just right for you. Several studies have shown that following a Mediterranean diet can help the body maintain healthy cholesterol levels, lower the risk of high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. For instance, a review of 41 reports showed that the Mediterranean diet was linked with a reduced risk of heart disease and stroke in people with diabetes.
- Protects against type 2 diabetes: Some studies have shown that following the Mediterranean diet may offer protection against type 2 diabetes. The eating plan is incredibly rich in fibre, which slows the absorption of sugar and helps prevent huge swings in blood sugar. A study involving 418 people found that those who followed the Mediterranean diet had a reduced risk (52 per cent) of developing type 2 diabetes over an average of four years than the control group.
- Increases longevity: Making healthier food choices that reduce your risk of heart disease, diabetes or cancer could mean you’re lowering your risk of death at any age. A study published in the BMJ journal Gut reported that following the Mediterranean diet for just one year altered the microbiome of elderly people in ways that improved brain function and would aid in longevity.
- Improves sleep: Researchers found that adopting a Mediterranean diet is linked with better sleep quality and less insomnia symptoms. A 2018 study that explored how the Mediterranean diet affects sleep suggested that adhering to the eating plan may improve sleep quality in older adults. The diet, however, seemed to have no effect on younger people’s sleep quality.
Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purpose only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a dietician before starting any fitness programme or making any changes to your diet.