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The best diet for 2024 is an eating pattern supported by science



The best diet for 2024 is an eating pattern supported by science

The Mediterranean diet has been ranked as the greatest overall diet for seven years running, according to 2024 ratings released on Wednesday by U.S. News & World Report.

According to the survey, the Mediterranean diet also came in top in the categories of best family-friendly diet, best diet for healthy eating, best diet for diabetes, and best diet for consuming foods that are good for bones, joints, and the heart.

Out of 30 diets, the Mediterranean-DASH intervention for neurodegenerative delay (MIND diet) ranked third while the DASH diet (dietary treatments to control hypertension) came in second. The three best diets are plant-based and include whole grains, legumes, and seeds along with fruits and vegetables.

The vegan diet, which came in third place among the finest plant-based diets, was assessed for the first time by the award committee, which consisted of 43 nutrition experts. The Herbalife Nutrition diet (29 of 30), the Dukan diet (28 of 30 best overall diets), the Profile Plan (19 of 30 diets), the HMR (Health Management Resources) diet (21 of 30 diets), and the Plantstrong (formerly Engine 2) diet (which ranked 15th in the best overall diet category) were among the other recently evaluated diets for 2024.

According to Gretel Schueller, managing editor of health at U.S. News & World Report, “that’s why U.S. News does the legwork for its users, gathering input from nationally recognized medical and nutrition experts to determine which diets rise to the top for nutritional completeness, ease of following, and promoting a healthy lifestyle for the long term.”

What is the Mediterranean diet plan?

The Mediterranean diet has been shown in studies to lower the risk of breast cancer, diabetes, high cholesterol, dementia, and memory loss. Longer life, stronger bones, and a healthier heart have all been associated with the meal plan, which is more of an eating style than a restricted diet.

The diet consists of straightforward plant-based cuisine where fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, and seeds make up the majority of each meal. A small amount of nuts and extra-virgin olive oil are also recommended. Other fats like butter and olive oil are rarely, if ever, consumed, while refined carbohydrates and sugar are saved for special occasions.

Red meat is rarely utilized and is often reserved for flavoring food. Omega-3 fatty acid-rich, healthful oily fish is recommended, and lesser portions of eggs, dairy, and chicken are consumed than in the typical Western diet.

The fundamental pillars of the Mediterranean diet are social contact during meals and physical activity. A mindful lunch with loved ones, eating beloved foods with awareness, moving and exercising consciously are all examples of lifestyle modifications that are included in the diet.

Experts’ lowest ranking

The raw food diet, which advocates consuming food that hasn’t been “cooked, processed, microwaved, irradiated, genetically engineered, or exposed to pesticides or herbicides,” came in last on the list of the top 30 diets overall.

Although those qualities might seem healthful, the U.S. News & World Report website states that the diet is extremely limited nutritionally and might even be harmful to certain individuals. Cooking some dishes, according to Dr. Vanita Rahman, MD, clinic director of the Barnard Medical Center in Washington, DC, “allows for more variety and boosts the intake of protein and other essential nutrients.”

According to Rahman’s assessment on the website, “the safest and healthiest way to enjoy raw foods is as part of a whole foods, plant-based diet that is rich in raw fruits and vegetables, as well as cooked lentils, beans, grains, and vegetables.”

The well-known ketogenic diet was ranked No. 1 in the best quick weight-loss category but placed 25th overall, according to the research. Experts disagree, stating that the diet—which limits carbohydrates to roughly 20 per day—is too stringent to be adhered to for an extended period of time.

“I see a lot of people going on keto when they want to lose weight and then going off keto when they can’t do it anymore. This diet is hard to stick to, and many people aren’t actually (following a diet that is) keto but low carb,” said registered dietitian and panelist Amanda Sauceda in an evaluation on the U.S. News & World Report site.

The paper stated that people with specific forms of cancer, liver, kidney, and heart problems shouldn’t follow the diet. Pregnant women, high-achieving athletes, and children who have not been advised by a doctor to lose weight should not follow the ketogenic diet.

A review of research published in 2023 raised concerns about the potential for kidney stones, heart disease, cognitive decline, muscle loss, and nutritional deficits while following a ketogenic diet for longer than two years.

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