Which is the healthiest diet in the world that anyone can follow daily?

If you’re looking for the best diet in the world and someone is looking to eat a healthy meal plan, they will turn to a Mediterranean-style diet, which has been studied and researched extensively. The guidelines of this diet are simple: avoid red meat, sugar, processed foods, and saturated fats. While there are many variations to what this diet entails (some even consider it the “Western Diet”), it’s safe to say that the primary focus is on vegetables and fruits with some occasional animal protein.

“Mediterranean-style diet” is not a diet at all, it’s a lifestyle. In fact, it’s the lifestyle that many of our ancestors followed before modern life. Sally Fallon (founder of the Weston A. Price Foundation) describes this naturally occurring diet in an interview:

The traditional Mediterranean diet was based on eating animal fats and animal protein and mostly raw vegetables and fruits,” says Fallon. “Nowadays we mix everything together; we fry, we bake, we boil, but traditionally Mediterranean people ate foods separately. They ate their meats separately from the vegetables, and they ate their vegetables separately from the fruits. They also never used oils on anything. They used animal fats instead of oils.

What is a Mediterranean diet?

A Mediterranean-style diet typically consists of lots of plants (such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts), bread made with 100% whole-wheat or rye flour, healthy fats (like olive oil), moderate alcohol intake (wine with meals), and low amounts of meat and dairy.

This diet is predominantly plant-based and is rich in fiber, antioxidants, and vitamins. There is a high intake of vegetables, whole grains, nuts, fruits, and legumes; and a moderate intake of fish and seafood (no meat or dairy). It is low in red meat consumption, but high in animal fat from fish.

“The Mediterranean diet was not invented by some clever researcher who decided that it would be a good idea to reverse heart disease,” says Fallon. “It was born in a paleolithic culture, and it was born the same way as our bodies were — from what nature gives us.”

This diet is naturally low in processed foods, sugar, and saturated fats. When people eat a traditional Mediterranean-style diet — the kind that has been studied extensively — their health improves. Studies show:

  • People who closely follow this kind of diet live longer than those who don’t.
  • People on this kind of diet are more resistant to diseases like cancer or heart disease.
  • People on this kind of diet reduce their risk of diabetes by 40%.
  • On the Mediterranean-style diet, people experience lower levels of inflammation and oxidative stress.

What is a low-carb diet?

While there are many differences between these two popular diets, what they have in common is: each one excludes processed foods, processed fats, meat, and dairy.

Each one relies on high levels of nutrient-rich vegetables and foods high in fiber, starch, vegetable protein, and healthy fats. Both are low in sugar and refined carbohydrates.

Recently, there has been a lot of confusion about all the things that different diets have in common because each category is typically called “diet” or “lifestyle” instead of by the name of what it is really about — what it’s missing.

You can see how the term “diet” gets twisted when you look at what one of these diets — the low-carb diet — is really about.

A low-carb diet is not a way to lose weight by cutting out carbs and relying on protein and fat for energy instead. This is commonly known as the high-protein/low-carb diet, which has been popular a long time ago, but it’s not a healthy way to lose weight.

A low-carb diet is not about cutting out carbohydrates entirely.

The Keto Diet is the Same Thing as the Atkins Diet (and Many Other Low-Carb Diets)

Since you now know what both a low-carb diet and a Mediterranean-style diet have in common, you might be wondering if a Mediterranean-style diet could be called a “low-carb” diet, too? And even a keto diet?

Yes, it can (and it is). But it isn’t really a low-carb diet.

The Mediterranean-style diet is based on healthy, whole, unprocessed foods like fruits and vegetables; legumes; fish; and wine (if you drink). In this case, it can be more accurately described as a low-carb diet because the majority of food is unprocessed.

The keto diet is also based on whole, unprocessed foods but the majority of food is processed. This is why, in my view, it’s not really accurate to call it a low-carb diet.

Keto vs Low-Carb: The Bottom Line

Like the Mediterranean diet and other similar diets, the keto diet aims to follow scientific evidence-based recommendations (see HERE). You know that if you follow this type of diet, you’re likely to enjoy nutritious and satiating food along with major health benefits. This is the type of diet that’s easy to stick with because the food delivers this.

What’s interesting is that in the case of the Mediterranean-style diet, there are no strict limits on protein and starch intake, as it’s based on what’s natural and healthy for humans to eat. And since we all have a different genetic setpoint for our appetite and metabolism, it won’t fit all people. Instead, it follows a more personalized approach to our unique biology and needs.

The keto diet is about low-carb eating, which tends to only lower blood sugar and insulin in the short term. The Mediterranean diet is about eating healthy, unprocessed foods that go back thousands of years. It’s a more sustainable way to eat for life. And if you follow it, you’re satisfying your deepest evolutionary needs for nutrition and satiation.

It’s also important to note that both healthy diets are not just about food choices at the moment; they have deeper implications and will help you make other choices in your life based on what makes the most sense for your biology. They are also powerful allies if used as tools to address specific health concerns or goals.

The keto diet and the Mediterranean diet are often two of the healthiest diets on the planet, and there is so much you can learn from each one.

For instance, here are a few lessons that you can learn from the Mediterranean diet:

Enjoy foods high in antioxidants like fruits, vegetables, and herbs (like rosemary), because they’re linked to a lower risk of cancer. Enjoy moderate wine consumption. It’s fine to enjoy alcohol in moderate amounts when done in moderation. Enjoy fish, which is a lean, healthy protein. Enjoy legumes (especially lentils), whole grains, seeds, nuts, and more.

And here are a few lessons you can learn from the keto diet:

Enjoy foods that are naturally low-carb like vegetables and fruits (including berries). Since these foods are free of gluten and other allergens, they tend to be more easily digestible for people with digestive troubles. Enjoy foods high in healthy fats found in fish, avocados, and nuts. These are linked to better metabolism. Enjoy MCT oil as a keto fat for a great source of energy.

You get the picture… no matter which diet you follow, both will make your food taste amazing and both will help you thrive.

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