What is the best diet to start 2020 on the right foot? It is one of the first doubts that arise at the beginning of the year after deciding that we want to adopt a healthier lifestyle. According to the ranking prepared by the US News & World Report, the one that accumulates a better score is the Mediterranean diet, followed by the Dash and the Flexitarian diet.
This report, published for ten years, scores 35 different diets through the opinion of a panel of health experts. To get a high rating, the diet in question must be easy to follow, nutritious, safe, effective for weight loss and protective against diabetes and heart disease. Below we explain which ones occupy the first positions and what score they have obtained.
Good news. According to this influential magazine in Washington, the Mediterranean diet is the best option to follow a healthy diet without difficulties and gives it a score of 4.2 out of 5. The report reports that the majority of inhabitants of Mediterranean countries tend to live longer than Americans and they suffer less diseases like cancer or heart problems. The secret, they reveal, is an active lifestyle , weight control, and a diet low in red meat, sugar, and saturated fat, and high in vegetables, nuts, and other healthy foods. They also ensure that this diet offers many health benefits, including weight loss, good heart and brain health. and the prevention of cancer and diabetes, among others.
How does it work?
The Mediterranean diet pyramid emphasizes the consumption of fruits, vegetables, whole grains , beans, nuts, legumes, olive oil, and herbs and spices; fish and seafood at least a couple of times a week; and poultry, eggs, cheese, and yogurt in moderation. Limit consumption of sweets and red meat for special occasions and combined with daily physical activity.
Factors such as lack of time, the ease of disposing of foods that contribute to sedentary lifestyle and publicity, have made us leave aside this way of life that is so ours, which is negatively impacting our health and physique. But specialists insist: “the Mediterranean diet is synonymous with quality of life.”
Secondly, we find the DASH diet, which scores 4.1 out of 5. This diet, promoted by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, is usually adopted to stop hypertension and is focused on consumption. of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and low-fat dairy, nutrient-dense foods that lower blood pressure.
The DASH diet discourages eating foods high in saturated fat , such as fatty meats, fatty dairy products, and tropical oils, as well as sugary drinks and sweets. It is based on a balanced diet and can be followed in the long term, one of the key reasons why nutrition experts rank it as one of the best in the world.
How does it work?
Starting this diet does not force us to make drastic changes in our diet. The US News & World Report advises that we start with small actions such as:
- Add a serving of vegetables or fruits to each meal.
- Introduce two or more meatless meals each week.
- Use herbs and spices to make food tastier without salt.
- Eat almonds or walnuts instead of a bag of potato chips.
- Swap white flour for whole wheat flour when possible.
- Walk 15 minutes after lunch or dinner (or both).
For more information, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute has published several free guides on this plan.
The flexitarian diet shares second place with the DASH diet for its emphasis on the consumption of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and plant-based protein . Basically it can be defined as a vegetarian diet that occasionally allows you to consume meat or fish, hence its name comes from the word “flexible”.
The report explains that you don’t have to give up meat entirely to experience the benefits associated with vegetarianism. Among other qualities, the flexitarian diet helps us lose weight, enjoy better health, reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes and cancer and increase our life expectancy.
How does it work?
To become flexitarians we must add five food groups to our diet: non-meat proteins, fruits and vegetables, whole grains, dairy and spices. In the report they advise us to adapt the diet to our rhythm of life to achieve better results and that we gradually discover all the recipes that make it up.
The worst classified
The last places are occupied by the Dukan diet and the Keto diet, both ketogenic diets. In these eating plans, fats are the main source of energy – they can account for 90% of our daily consumption – and carbohydrate intake is drastically reduced, hence nutritionists do not recommend it lightly. However, the ketogenic diet is supported by scientific evidence in certain minority diseases such as GLUT-1 deficiency, PDH deficiency or in certain epilepsies, where monitoring has been found to improve the quality of life of patients. .