Rx Nutrition Resource Center

Rx Nutrition Resource Center

Source: Press Release

Disclosures: Healio Primary Care could not confirm Haupt’s relevant financial disclosures at the time of publication. Klodas reports no relevant financial disclosures.
January 04, 2021
4 min read
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Mediterranean retains its status as best overall diet

Source: Press Release

Disclosures: Healio Primary Care could not confirm Haupt’s relevant financial disclosures at the time of publication. Klodas reports no relevant financial disclosures.
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The Mediterranean diet was ranked the best overall diet for the fourth year in a row by U.S. News & World Report, the company announced.

The Mediterranean diet features high intakes of cereals, extra-virgin olive oil, fruits, leafy green vegetables, nuts and pulses/legumes; moderate intakes of dairy products, red wine, fish and other meats; and low intakes of eggs and sweets, according to Nutrients. The eating plan also took the top spot for best plant-based diet and easiest-to-follow diet, and shared its No. 1 ranking in the best diets for healthy eating, diabetes and heart-healthy categories.

Mediterranean Diet
The Mediterranean diet appears more than any other eating plan in U.S. News & World Report’s 2021 rankings of best diets. Photo source: Shutterstock

The U.S. News & World Report rankings are compiled by a panel of 24 nutritionists and specialists in diabetes, cardiovascular health and weight loss. The panel considers 39 diets in seven areas, including easiness in following, chances of losing significant weight in both the short and long term and effectiveness against CVD and diabetes, according to a press release. Four new diets — the AIP diet, GAPS diet, Modified Keto diet and Noom diet — were added to the rankings this year. The best 2021 diets include:

Best overall diets

1. Mediterranean diet

2. DASH diet (tied)

2. Flexitarian diet (tied)

Best commercial diets

1. WW (Weight Watchers)

2. Mayo Clinic diet

3. Jenny Craig (tied)

3. Noom diet (tied)

Best weight-loss diets

1. Flexitarian Diet (tie)

1. WW (tie)

3. Vegan diet (tie)

3. Volumetrics (tie)

Best fast weight-loss diets

1. HMR diet

2. Atkins (tie)

2. WW (tie)

Best diets for healthy eating

1. DASH diet (tie)

1. Mediterranean diet (tie)

3. Flexitarian diet

Easiest diets to follow

1. Mediterranean diet

2. WW

3. Flexitarian diet

Best diets for diabetes

1. Flexitarian diet (tie)

1. Mediterranean diet (tie)

3. DASH diet (tie)

3. Mayo Clinic diet (tie)

3. Vegan diet (tie)

Best heart-healthy diets

1. DASH diet (tie)

1. Mediterranean diet (tie)

1. Ornish diet (tie)

Best plant-based diets

1. Mediterranean diet

2. Flexitarian diet

3. Nordic diet (tie)

3. Ornish diet (tie)

3. Vegetarian diet (tie)

Angela Haupt, managing editor of health at U.S. News & World Report, said in a press release that the rankings can help people decide which diet is right for them based on their health needs or weight goals.

“As people stay home more and move their bodies less — and grapple with the ‘quarantine 15’ — it’s important to maintain a healthy diet and stay active,” she said in the release. “What that looks like will be different for each person.”

Elizabeth Klodas, MD, FACC, a cardiologist who is not affiliated with the U.S. News & World Report’s rankings, told Healio Primary Care that physicians who are trying to help their patients lose weight should start by taking a detailed dietary history.

Elizabeth Klodas

“I look for sources of sodium. I look for things that may be contributing to higher cholesterol levels and empty calories. A lot of people consume a lot of calories in their liquids and they don’t even realize it,” she said. “For example, drinking a quart of skim milk a day is okay, but that’s 300 calories that’s being consumed from just one liquid.”

Klodas, who is also founder of the Preventive Cardiology Clinic in Edina, Minnesota, added that it is important to set “realistic wins where people can adjust what they do or do something small that is most likely to be sustainable.”

In conjunction with the release of the best diet rankings, Healio Primary Care compiled a list of stories on the latest research involving the Mediterranean diet.

Mediterranean diet linked to lower inflammation in older adults

The Mediterranean diet was associated with lower inflammation in older adults, a recent analysis showed. Read more.

Cognitive performance improves with Mediterranean diet in longer-duration type 2 diabetes

Adhering to a Mediterranean diet was associated with better verbal memory among adults with type 2 diabetes for at least 5 years, according to a cross-sectional analysis published in Nutrition and Diabetes. Read more.

Mediterranean diet may be ‘healthy food model’ to prevent thyroid autoimmune disorders

A cohort of euthyroid individuals with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis were more likely to eat meat and less likely to adhere to a Mediterranean diet than healthy controls, according to findings published in Thyroid. Read more.

Mediterranean diet linked with lower risk for late-onset Crohn’s

Individuals who adhere to a Mediterranean diet are at lower risk for developing Crohn’s disease later in life, according to study results. Read more.

AREDS2 formulation and Mediterranean diet may improve prognosis of age-related macular degeneration

The AREDS2 formulation and a Mediterranean diet, especially fish, can help reduce the risk for patient progression to advanced age-related macular degeneration, according to a speaker at an American Academy of Ophthalmology annual meeting. Read more.

Mediterranean diet reduces risk for gestational diabetes, maternal weight gain

Pregnant women who consumed a Mediterranean-style diet had a lower risk for gestational diabetes and reported less weight gain, according to findings published in PLoS One. Read more.

Mediterranean diet may protect against late-life depression

Data presented at an American Psychiatric Association annual meeting suggest that adhering to a Mediterranean diet may protect against the development of depressive symptoms in older age. Read more.

Mediterranean diet may improve kidney function outcomes after transplant

Recently published research found that, for kidney transplant recipients, adherence to a Mediterranean-style diet was associated with a lower risk of kidney function decline and graft failure. Read more.

Intervention improves adherence to Mediterranean diet

An intervention promoting an energy-reduced Mediterranean diet and physical activity was linked with better adherence to the Mediterranean diet at 1 year compared with the traditional Mediterranean diet in individuals with metabolic syndrome, according to interim results from the PREDIMED-Plus study. Read more.

Components of Mediterranean diet can be individualized for goal attainment

The benefits of a Mediterranean diet have been shown in numerous studies, but more work must be done for patients to adopt it, according to a presentation at a National Lipid Association Scientific session. Read more.

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