`Mediterranean Diet Tops List for Seventh Year - Olive Oil Times

Mediterranean Diet Tops List for Seventh Year

By Daniel Dawson
Jan. 8, 2024 19:34 UTC

For the sev­enth year, U.S. News & World Report has named the Mediterranean diet the world’s best over­all diet for 2024, giv­ing it a higher rat­ing than 29 other pop­u­lar eat­ing plans.

Since 2010, the dig­i­tal media com­pany, well-known for its com­pre­hen­sive best and worst lists rang­ing from uni­ver­si­ties and hos­pi­tals to cars, has ranked diets based on the eval­u­a­tion of its inde­pen­dent panel of 43 med­ical doc­tors, reg­is­tered dieti­tians, nutri­tional epi­demi­ol­o­gists and weight loss researchers.

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The panel cited the vari­ety and flex­i­bil­ity of fol­low­ing the Mediterranean diet as one of the rea­sons for its con­sis­tently high per­for­mances in the rank­ings.

The experts added that the Mediterranean diet fur­ther dif­fer­en­ti­ates itself from other diets due to its role as a lifestyle and cul­ture rather than a restric­tive eat­ing pro­gram.

This is reflected in the Mediterranean Diet Pyramid pub­lished by the Spain-based Mediterranean Diet Foundation, which encour­ages daily con­sump­tion of fruits, veg­eta­bles, legumes, nuts, whole grains and some dairy with extra vir­gin olive oil serv­ing as the pri­mary source of fat.

Instead of pro­hibit­ing cer­tain food groups, the Mediterranean diet rec­om­mends mod­er­ate weekly con­sump­tion of red meat, processed foods, eggs, sweets and alco­hol. 

Underpinning the effec­tive­ness of the diet is an empha­sis on reg­u­lar phys­i­cal activ­ity, ade­quate rest, ample hydra­tion, sea­sonal eat­ing habits and social con­nec­tion dur­ing meals. 

The panel of experts also cited the robust body of sci­en­tific evi­dence link­ing adher­ence to the Mediterranean diet with a lower risk of demen­tia, reduced risk of car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease and lower inci­dence of sev­eral types of can­cer, includ­ing blad­der, breast and col­orec­tal can­cers.

Further research has demon­strated an eclec­tic range of other ben­e­fits of fol­low­ing a Mediterranean diet, such as pre­vent­ing obe­sity and other car­diometa­bolic dis­eases, alle­vi­at­ing depres­sion symp­toms and improv­ing oral health, among many oth­ers.

The influ­ence of the Mediterranean diet on healthy eat­ing was reflected through­out the U.S. News & World Report list, with the sec­ond spot going to the DASH diet and the third place going to the MIND diet, both of which are influ­enced by the Mediterranean diet. 

Like the Mediterranean diet, the DASH diet empha­sizes con­sum­ing fruits, veg­eta­bles and whole grains. However, it dif­fers in its more reg­i­mented por­tion rec­om­men­da­tions. Meanwhile, the MIND diet com­bines the DASH and Mediterranean diets.

Along with top­ping the over­all list for best diets of 2024, the Mediterranean diet was also rec­og­nized by the report’s panel of experts in sev­eral sub­cat­e­gories, includ­ing the best diet for dia­betes, the best diet for bone and joint health, the best diet for healthy eat­ing, the best fam­ily-friendly diet, the best heart-healthy diet and the eas­i­est diet to fol­low.

The expert panel also said the Mediterranean diet was the sec­ond-best weight loss diet (behind the WeightWatchers diet) and the sec­ond-best plant-based diet (behind the flex­i­tar­ian diet).


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