Best Diets for 2021 Featuring the Mediterranean Diet



Best Diets for 2021 Featuring the Mediterranean Diet

By Mark Zuleger-Thyss/Garden of Healing


Each year U.S. News & World Report enlists a panel of health experts in such fields as nutrition, weight management, Diabetes, food psychology, and public health to evaluate popular diet plans. They considered more than 40 diets and looked at nutritional completeness, effectiveness, ease of use, and potential risks.

Showing up in the top spot for the fourth year in a row is the Mediterranean Diet. This lifestyle-based diet is consistently ranked as the best diet for many good reasons - one being, it comes with the least number of rules. It has been linked to a range of health benefits including reduced risk of heart disease, cancer, and Diabetes. It was deem­ed to be nutritionally sound, diverse in foods and flavors, and affordable.

There is no single "Mediterranean diet" across such culinarily diverse countries as Greece, Spain, and Italy. Traditional diets in this region are rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, herbs, and heart-healthy fats like olive oil. Moderate amounts of fish and red wine and some dairy, eggs, and poultry, and infrequent lean proteins like red meat (look for words like "loin" and "round") are also on the menu. A Mediterranean diet will take you back to solid nutritional basics and you can stop counting calories, too.



Here is a quick summary of the best diets to check out in 2021. You will have to dive deeper into the details of each one and decide what works for you.

Best Overall: Mediterranean Diet

Best for Diabetes: (tied) Flexitarian Diet & Mediterranean Diet

Best for Healthy Eating: (tied) DASH Diet & Mediterranean Diet

Best for Heart Health: (all in a tie) DASH Diet, Mediterranean Diet, & Ornish Diet

Best Plant-Based: Mediterranean Diet

Best Weight-Loss Diets: (tied) Volumetrics Diet & Weight Watchers Diet

Easiest to Follow: Mediterranean Diet




A healthier routine requires a bit of preparation, especially if you want to be successful and stick with it for the long run. In 2021 cleanses are out - and commitment is in. Make the following guidelines a priority before changing your diet.

Keep hydrated

If you often feel hungry, you might not be keeping yourself hydrated. Drink at least 72 ounces of water each day (six to eight cups of water) and you will feel more satisfied between meals.

Seek a calorie intake that provides enough nutrients and good energy

Healthy amounts of calories for adult females range from 1,600 to 2,400 each day (2,000 to 3,000 for men). Customize calorie intake based on your activity level.

Avoid salt

Most excess sodium hides in packaged, processed foods, which adds to cardiovascular disease and inflammation. Nutrition experts agree - keep sodium to 1,500mg each day, not to exceed 2,300mg (equal to about 1 teaspoon of salt).

Cut added sugar

Avoid caffeinated drinks, breakfast foods, snacks, and desserts. According to the American Heart Association, women should not consume more than 25g of sugar per day (36g for men).

Exercise and do not be afraid to get sweaty

Looking for weight loss? Get your heart pumping. A healthy diet is only half the battle - get at least 30 minutes of heart-pumping activity each day. Believe it or not, walking on its own can be your weight loss savior.

Avoid gimmicky diets that promise fast weight loss

Look for diets that will teach sound nutrition principles that you can adopt for life. Only one of this year's best diets discourages meat, and all emphasize more plant-based eating which fights cardiovascular disease and inflammation.

Seek professional medical advice

Always consult your family physician before making radical changes to your diet. Certain pre-existing health conditions may prevent you from following a new-found dietary plan. Discuss any possible side effects with your healthcare provider before changing your diet or trying a new one altogether.


2021 will be a year of fresh hope and making good choices going forward. A new Coronavirus vaccine will help to rebuild routines for many people. With a full range of exciting diets available, you might experience a renewed interest in how food tastes, how it makes you feel, and how it can keep you healthy.







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© 2021 Mark Zuleger-Thyss, Garden of Healing. All rights reserved.

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