With the first full week of a new year approaching and the holidays fading into a memory, many adults are recommitting to a healthier lifestyle, possibly trying to shed a few excess pounds. But there is so much information in the media about what diet is best for health and weight-loss, it can be overwhelming.
A panel of nutritionists and health specialists recently ranked a group of 41 diets for U.S. News, based on 7 categories including, short and long-term weight loss, safety, nutrition and how easy the diet was to follow. Not surprisingly, the Mediterranean diet came out on top in a number of categories including best overall diet, best diet for diabetes and healthy eating, best heart-healthy diet, easiest to follow diet and best plant-based diet. Weight Watchers was ranked best for weight-loss and best commercial diet plan.
The HMR (Health Management Resouces Program) was ranked best diet for quick weight loss; this is a medically supervised diet that reduces calorie intake by replacing higher calorie foods with fruits and vegetables and using meal replacement shakes, meals and bars. Exercising just 20-30 minutes each day can also help dieters achieve their weight loss goals.
Since the Mediterranean diet was an obvious winner across many categories, we thought we should delve a little deeper into what makes this way of eating so beneficial for health, well-being, weight-loss and longevity. According to U.S. News, the Mediterranean diet helps protect against cancer and cardiovascular disease by significantly lowering the amount of red meat, sugar and saturated fats adults consume. The diet focuses on whole grains, fruits, vegetables, beans, nut and healthy fats such as olive oil. It also includes at least two servings each week of fish and seafood and well as moderate portions of dairy foods, eggs and occasionally poultry. Red meat and sweets are saved for rare occasions, no more than a few times a month. Using flavorful herbs and spices like anise, basil, chiles, cumin, fennel, garlic, mint, parsley and oregano helps to make meals tasty, appealing and varied.