THE MEDITERRANEAN DIET #1 FOR THE SIXTH CONSECUTIVE YEAR
The Mediterranean Diet has taken top honors for the sixth year in a row in a ranking of “Best Diets for 2023″ by U.S. News and World Report. The diet’s high accolades come after a panel of medical and nutrition experts, specializing in diabetes, heart health and weight loss, reviewed 24 different diets, ranking them on health and safety, levels of ease of use, and the promotion of a healthy and sustainable lifestyle.
In addition to winning the overall category, the Mediterranean Diet also took first place in the categories “Best Plant-Based Diet” and “Best Diet for Healthy Eating”. In two new categories, it was awarded “Best Nutrition for Bones and Joints” alongside the DASH Diet (dietary approaches to combat high blood pressure) and the Flexitarian Diet for “Best Family-Friendly Diet”.
WHY IS IT NO LONGER SURPRISING, THAT IT IS VOTED THE BEST DIET EVERY YEAR?
There are several reasons. On one hand is the diet’s preventative aspect and on the other hand, the quality of life. The Mediterranean Diet is not only a balanced and varied diet with a high intake of vitamins and minerals but is also based on the principles of enjoyment and the joy of eating.
Favoring a healthy body mass index, it is also an important ally in increasing life expectancy and a better quality of life. A number of studies have shown that the Mediterranean diet has a positive impact on chronic health conditions such as lowering blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and body weight. It has also been linked to lower rates of heart disease and stroke.
It is therefore considered an important tool for management of cardiovascular diseases and type 2 diabetes. It has no restrictions, which means it is recommended for all people and all ages, including the elderly, children, and pregnant women. However, if you have heart disease or other chronic diseases, you should always consult a nutritionist.
WHAT EXACLY IS THE MEDITERRANEAN DIET?
The Mediterranean diet is a balanced, healthy, varied and extremely tasty diet based on the traditions of the inhabitants around the Mediterranean. It is based upon the centuries-old food culture in the Mediterranean region and reflects the way people in these areas have eaten and lived for centuries.
The principles of the Mediterranean diet, which is really a lifestyle, are not just limited to nutrition, but a holistic concept that also focuses on a healthy lifestyle. The healthy lifestyle factors include regular sleep, an active social life, a generally relaxed attitude towards life and therefore less stress, time to rest and relax, and a higher level of physical activity in daily life.
Because the Mediterranean diet is not just a diet, but a holistic concept that focuses on a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle, it is more of a long-term diet than a short-term diet to lose a few pounds quickly. It is a way of maintaining a healthy weight in the long term without the annoying yo-yo effect because it is not a radical low-carb diet. This is largely because the foods present a synergistic effect, resulting in a diet rich in antioxidants, phytochemicals, fiber, and healthy fats.
Fortunately, the diet is said to have an anti-aging effect. Many foods are said to have a rejuvenating effect, such as red wine, for example, which, if drunk in moderation, can slow down the aging process. Tomatoes and olive oil are also considered anti-aging foods. There are 21 countries spread across three continents around the Mediterranean Sea, which boast an incredibly rich culinary diversity. The people here love to eat! They know that good food not only fills you up, but is healthy, and makes you happy. This is supported by studies showing that people in the Mediterranean live longer and are happier than in other parts of the world.
It is not ‘a Mediterranean diet’ with a single approach but an all-encompassing one, as each country and culture has its own traditions and recipes that have been passed down for centuries. Greeks eat differently than Italians and French differently than Spaniards. But what unites them all are the same principles when it comes to enjoying life! It is little wonder, then, that the Mediterranean diet was inscribed on November 16th, 2010, on the UNESCO list of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity and should therefore contribute as a guide to a healthy lifestyle for anyone who wants to switch to a healthy diet, while not foregoing enjoyment and enjoyment of food.
The food preparation alone, which takes a lot of time, is an art, and the food itself is a real pleasure, which is then celebrated together by the whole family or friends, without hurry or time pressure. But when it comes to preparing food, simplicity is always the priority. Seasonal food and freshness are the focus: quality over quantity!
Key ingredients include fresh vegetables and fruits, whole grains, legumes, grains, nuts and seeds every day, moderate consumption of fresh fish and seafood, dairy products such as yogurt and cheese, and moderate wine consumption. Red meat and added sugar consumption is limited. Fresh herbs such as rosemary, thyme and oregano provide a lot of taste. However, the greatest health-promoting main ingredient is without a doubt the cold-pressed olive oil, which should not be missing in any kitchen and in almost any recipe.