Popular Diets of 2017 Part 2
New fad diets are always popping up as people continue to look for promises of quick weight loss.
Global news recently examined the most popular diets of today. In part 1 of this 3 part blog series, I provided a summary of the top 3 popular diets.
I was very happy to read that the 4th popular diet is the Mediterranean Diet.
How is the Mediterranean diet different from the others?
When we speak of fad diets and weight loss diets, we generally use the word diet to refer to the restriction of food. Using this definition, the Mediterranean diet is not truly a “diet”.
More so, it is a way of eating that promotes healthy foods – which happens to be very similar to Canada’s Food Guide, and to what many Nutrition Experts (including myself) have been promoting as healthy eating for many years.
The Mediterranean diet focuses on a high intake of vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes, potatoes, whole grains, herbs, spices, fish, seafood and extra virgin olive oil. Poultry, eggs, cheese and yogurt should be eaten in moderation, and red meat should be eaten only occasionally. Wine, coffee and tea are also allowed.
The diet does not eliminate any food groups or healthy foods. Foods that should be eliminated include added sugar, refined grains, trans fats, processed meats, refined oils and highly processed foods – all foods that have been proven to increase the risk of chronic diseases.
Also, unlike restrictive fad diets, the Mediterranean diet has been well-researched and shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, lower cholesterol, and help reduce the risk of some cancers, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.
The Mediterranean diet does not have to be followed exactly. You can gain some benefits by adopting only parts of the diet. For example, simply swapping out red meat for legumes once or twice a week; or decreasing your protein portion and increasing your vegetable portion at meals.
The bottom line. The Mediterranean diet is very healthy and easy to stick with long-term – it is not a restrictive diet that you “go on” for a limited amount of time.