What are the best diets 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, which has been published for ten years, scores 35 different diets through the opinion of a panel of health experts. To obtain 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 occupy the top positions and what score they have obtained.
Good news. According to this influential Washington magazine, 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 suffer fewer diseases such as 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 pyramid of the Mediterranean diet emphasizes the consumption of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, legumes, olive oil, and herbs and spices; fish and seafood at least an It limits the consumption of sweets and red meat for special occasions and is combined with daily physical activity.
Factors such as the lack of time, the ease in disposing of food that contributes to sedentary lifestyle and publicity, have made us leave aside this way of life so ours, which is having a negative impact on our health and physical. But specialists insist: “the Mediterranean diet is synonymous with quality of life.”
Secondly, we find the DASH diet, which obtains a score of 4.1 out of 5. This diet, which is promoted by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, is usually adopted to stop hypertension and focuses on consumption. of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and low-fat dairy, nutrient-rich foods that lower blood pressure.
The DASH diet discourages eating foods high in saturated fats, 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 classify 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 every week.
- Use herbs and spices to make the food tastier without salt.
- Eat almonds or nuts instead of a bag of chips.
- Exchange white flour for whole wheat flour whenever 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 proteins of plant origin. 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 it is not necessary to abandon meat completely 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 to gradually discover all the recipes that make it up.
The worst classified
The last places are occupied by the Dukan Diet and the Keto, both ketogenic diets. In these meal 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 the GLUT-1 deficit, the PDH deficit or in certain epilepsies, where it has been proven that monitoring improves the quality of life of patients.