The US News & World Report’s annual diet list for the fifth year in a row has just ranked the Mediterranean diet as the best overall diet. Following closely behind? The DASH diet and the flexitarian diet, tied in second place.
While the approach might be slightly different, all three of these diets have a lot in common. Not only are they all well researched with proven health benefits, they all recommend reducing or eliminating processed foods and replacing them instead with fruits, vegetables, lentils, beans, nuts, seeds, and whole grains. Plus, as far as diets go, they offer a lot of variety, flexibility, and very few rules.
As well as proven weight loss, the Med and dash diets have a lot of health benefits, for example, reducing risks of certain cancers, heart disease, and diabetes.
Sustainable, long-term dieting
Let’s be real, ladies, how many of us have given up on a diet when cravings overcome us? The foods that we want to eat are calling our names and we give in, and then we give up.
However, the Mediterranean and Dash diets are less likely to have these cravings crash because there’s a lot more flexibility and moderation. Instead of cutting out your favorite foods; you simply eat them in moderation. What?!
Also Read: How to fight off sugar cravings
Many nutrition experts believe that the Med and Dash diets see greater long-term success because they’re so flexible. In addition, they’re easy to follow, which makes them a lot easier to sustain long term. Instead of feeling like you can’t eat anything and you’re depriving yourself, you’re adding fresh fruit and veggies, whole grains, and fish to your diet. And this feels much more manageable and sustainable than battling against a diet full of restrictions.
Rather than being built on depriving yourself, both diets follow an approach based on improving health.
Top tips for changing your eating habits
- You don’t have to become vegan or veggie overnight – Instead, mix it up with more fresh fruit, veggies, beans, lentils, and whole foods.
- Be patient – Remember, long term changes don’t happen overnight.
- Limit your alcohol intake – If you can’t cut alcohol out completely, limit the days you drink. Plus, try to stick to lower-alcohol options such as a white wine spritzer rather than a full glass of wine.
- Personalize your plate for you – Remember, everyone’s plate will look different from each other, and your plates will look different day-to-day.
- Use Trimtone – Struggling with your cravings? Or feeling a bit flat? Trimtone can help curb those cravings and cut out snacking without losing energy.
- Seek professional support – If you’re not sure what food groups you should be eating or filling your plate with, meet with a registered dietitian or nutritionist to support you going through these changes.
Health trends for 2022 and beyond
Outside of dieting, nutrition experts are seeing health trends shifting towards less meat, less alcohol, and less sugar. And experts say that many people are taking the initiative to make positive steps toward healthy decisions.
In December 2021, the 2020–2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans was released; however, they didn’t include the reduction in the recommended daily intake of alcohol and sugar, which health and nutrition organizations have criticized.
Also Read: 13 tips to trim down – backed by science!
In addition, the American Institute for Cancer Research released a statement revealing that The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee found that the current evidence does in fact justify tightening the alcohol guideline for men to match the recommended limit for women, which is no more than one drink per day.
Despite the Dietary Guidelines for Americans not implementing these changes, nutrition experts say they’re still noticing a gaining momentum for plant-based, lower-sugar, lower-alcohol lifestyles as more and more take an interest in their overall health.
This isn’t to say there’s less interest in sugar and red meat, but there’s a different approach. Many of us are moving away from sugary sodas and towards drinks like flavored sparkling waters. Plus, consumers are taking a more flexible approach, with consumers choosing more meatless meals throughout the week.
Overall, more people are interested in their overall health and wellbeing, as opposed to trying to reach a goal weight.
Also Read: 14 healthy food swaps to boost weight loss
As our interests move this way, it’s no wonder that diets like the Mediterranean and Dash diets are gaining popularity. With plenty of evidence to support their sustainability for healthy living.
Ready to try the Med or Dash diet for yourself?
So, there you have it, ladies! There’s no doubt about it, if you’re looking to make long term changes, then the Med and dash diet could be for you. With lots of health benefits, reducing risks of certain cancers, heart disease, and diabetes, as well as weight loss, it’s a win-win.
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