Mediterranean diet named best diet for 2021

Posted on January 07, 2021

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Source: USA Today

For the fourth year in a row, the Mediterranean diet continues to be named the best overall diet, according to U.S. News & World Report's annual ranking revealed Monday.

The Mediterranean diet, which is consistently backed by studies showing a correlation with decreased risk of disease, also nabbed the No. 1 spot for best diets for healthy eating, easiest diets to follow, best diets for diabetes, best plant based diets and best heart-healthy diets.

The diet advocates heart-healthy foods that are typically eaten in the Mediterranean. The diet guides people to eat plenty of plants and foods that are low on “bad” cholesterol, such as legumes, nuts, wheat, fruits and veggies. For example, in this diet, you replace butter with healthy fats like olive oil, salt with herbs and spices, and red meat with fish and poultry.

Plus, it's okay to have a glass of red wine on occasion.

In one of the largest and longest studies that looks at the diet's effect on gut bacteria, published in February 2020 by the British Medical Journal Gut, research found the Mediterranean diet could have a positive effect within just one year for older adults by reducing the "bad" ones and increasing the "good."

Following the Mediterranean diet, the DASH and Flexitarian diet tied in at No. 2 for Best Overall Diet. The DASH diet, short for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, the government-backed plan aimed at helping followers lower their blood pressure while the Flexitarian diet is a modified vegetarian diet where users eat animal products in moderation.