If you’ve been following the Mediterranean diet, good news– for the first time, it’s taken the top spot in 2019’s best overall diet rankings. The rankings were announced yesterday (January 2nd) by US News and World Report. The analysis of 41 eating plans also gave the Mediterranean diet the top spot in several subcategories: best diet for healthy eating, best plant-based diet, best diet for diabetes and easiest diet to follow. Various studies have shown the diet can reduce the risk for diabetes, high cholesterol, dementia, memory loss, depression and breast cancer. The diet features simple, plant-based cooking with a few nuts and a heavy emphasis on extra virgin olive oil. Here’s the full list from CNN.
Mediterranean Diet Basics
- Eat: Vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes, potatoes, whole grains, breads, herbs, spices, fish, seafood and extra virgin olive oil.
- Eat in moderation: Poultry, eggs, cheese and yogurt.
- Eat only rarely: Red meat.
- Don’t eat: Sugar-sweetened beverages, added sugars, processed meat, refined grains, refined oils and other highly processed foods.
You should avoid these unhealthy foods and ingredients:
- Added sugar: Soda, candies, ice cream, table sugar and many others.
- Refined grains: White bread, pasta made with refined wheat, etc.
- Trans fats: Found in margarine and various processed foods.
- Refined oils: Soybean oil, canola oil, cottonseed oil and others.
- Processed meat: Processed sausages, hot dogs, etc.
- Highly processed foods: Anything labeled “low-fat” or “diet” or which looks like it was made in a factory.