I don’t like using the word diet as a verb. The word diet simply refers to what you eat in general. As in I suggest you add more vegetables into your diet. That being said, I am no dummy. I know some of you are going to do it.
So what is the BEST diet for you in 2018?
According to the U.S. News and World Report’s 2018 Best Diets Ranking, the #1 diet for 2018… The Mediterranean and DASH Diets are tied in 1st place.
WHAT?!?! You might be thinking. But I went Paleo/Whole 30/Keto and gave up carbs for months! Well, it turns out that the most successful diets are well balanced diets of Protein, Carbs and Healthy Fats.
Why did these diets win the gold star?
You can learn how the 40 eating plans were rated HERE.
So what exactly are these diets?
Both diets encourage eating a lot of plant foods, and less animal foods.
The Mediterranean Diet
The Dos and Don’ts…
- Eat daily: Vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes, potatoes, whole grains, breads, herbs, spices, fish, seafood and extra virgin olive oil.
- Eat in moderation:Poultry, eggs, cheese and yogurt.
- Eat only rarely:Red meat.
- Don’t eat:Sugar-sweetened beverages, added sugars, processed meat, refined grains, refined oils and other highly processed food.
Eating fish and seafood is recommended at least twice a week.
- Added sugar:Soda, candies, ice cream, table sugar and many others.
- Refined grains:White bread, pasta made with refined wheat, etc.
- Trans fats:Found in margarine and various processed foods.
- Refined Oils:Soybean oil, canola oil, cottonseed oil and others.
- Processed meat:Processed sausages, hot dogs, etc.
- Highly processed foods:Everything labelled “low-fat” or “diet” or looks like it was made in a factory.
The DASH Diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension)
According to their website, dashdiet.org: “The DASH eating plan is rich in fruits, vegetables, fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products, whole grains, fish, poultry, beans, seeds, and nuts. It also contains less sodium; sweets, added sugars, and beverages containing sugar; fats; and red meats than the typical American diet.”
The diet recommends the following serving sizes:
4-5 servings of fruit per day
6-8 servings of whole grains per day
2-3 servings of dairy per day
6 or less servings of lean meat, chicken or fish per day
4-5 servings of nuts, seeds and legumes per WEEK
2-3 servings of oils and fats per day.
5 or fewer servings of added sugar per week
They suggest starting out by adapting your current diet to a DASH diet by:
- Eating more vegetables and fruits.
- Swapping refined grains for whole grains.
- Choosing fat-free or low-fat dairy products.
- Choosing lean protein sources like fish, poultry and beans.
- Cooking with vegetable oils.
- Limiting your intake of foods high in added sugars, like soda and candy.
- Limiting your intake of foods high in saturated fats like fatty meats, full-fat dairy and oils like coconut and palm oil.
Both encourage regular physical activity!
It is important to watch portions, especially where grains are concerned. Grains are easy to overeat so do measure them out for success. A serving is typically 1/2 cup of rice (about the size of your fist) or one slice of bread. But read labels to be sure.
Quinoa, black or wild rice, and oats are examples of quality gluten free whole grains. Other whole grains to try are buckwheat, barley, freekeh, farro, amaranth, sorghum and whole wheat.