It’s that time of year. It’s January and U.S. News & World Report released their Best and Top 41 Diets for 2019 and I am ecstatic to be talking about them. And I know, you’re probably wondering, “But Gisela, I thought you weren’t focused on diets.” Now, that is partially correct. What I don’t promote or focus on are fad diets. However, any diet that can help boost your overall health, I am all for. According to U.S. News, the diets chosen this year are top-rated, safe, relatively easy to follow, nutritious, and can help prevent diabetes and heart disease. The top 3 on the list are also 3 of my faves. Check out my consensus of each one below:
#3: The Flexitarian Diet: This wellness diet (because it is definitely not a fad diet), focuses on encouraging plant-based foods as the primary source of nutrition, while still allowing the flexibility of allowing meat and animal products. Incorporating more plant-based foods in your diet means a boost of fiber, vitamins and minerals, and phytonutrient intake, while also decreasing the intake of saturated fats from animal products.
#2: The DASH Diet: The DASH Diet stands for the Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension. The DASH Diet dropped from #1 last year, to #2 this year, but has ranked in the top 2 for years. This diet was originally developed in 1997. It originally included refined grains and starchy foods. However, the DASH Diet was researched more, the refined grains were replaced with more satisfying proteins and heart healthy fats. The diet overall is rich in fruits and vegetables, low fat and non fat dairy, nuts, beans, and seeds. It also includes whole grains and lean meats. This diet is a great tool for anyone seeking to include more nutrient-dense foods, and live a more heart healthy lifestyle.
#1: The Mediterranean Diet: For the first time in 8 years, the Mediterranean Diet snubbed the #1 spot from the DASH Diet on the Best Diets list. This diet encourages the intake not only fruits, vegetables, whole grains and heart healthy fats (such as olives, olive oil, nuts, and seeds), but also of fish due to fish being lower in overall calories and saturated fat. This diet promotes an overall healthy lifestyle and can help lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels. Added bonus for many, the Mediterranean Diet also allows for a glass of red wine per day, due to it may be associated with a reduced risk of heart disease.
There you have it: the top 3 diets of the U.S. News & World Report’s Best Diets of 2019. As a Mindful and Intuitive Eating Practitioner, I view these diets as tools to help individuals be more inclusive of nutrient-dense foods and be more mindful of the food choices they make everyday. No diet, including the healthy diets noted above, ever has to be followed in a structured and/or stressful regimen. Rather, it’s about adapting the recommendations and tools to meet your food likes, your budget, and your lifestyle.