We are almost at the end of February and according to Forbes, 80% of people have already abandoned their New Year’s resolutions. Forbes also states that 44% of people’s resolutions are to live healthier or lose weight. The best way to accomplish this is to go on a diet, but there are so many, how do you choose one? Whether you’ve made a resolution or not, these are the best diets to go on for 2022.
The Mediterranean Diet
This diet consists of foods that are common in the Mediterranean area. It’s rich in foods such as fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, nuts, olive oil, and whole grains. Also included is fish multiple times a week and poultry, dairy, and eggs in moderation. For what not to eat, it limits consumption of processed foods, added sugar, and red meat.
This is at the top of my list because for a long time it’s been described as the “gold standard” of diets. It has benefits such as improving brain function, blood sugar levels, and promoting heart health. This is a generally easy diet to follow since there isn’t much restriction, just limitations.
The DASH Diet
DASH, or Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, is designed to prevent/treat hypotension (high blood pressure). The diet calls for fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean meats. Also, it emphasizes less than 1 teaspoon (2,300 mg) of sodium per day.
The main benefit of this diet is that it lowers blood pressure. Other potential benefits are lower risk of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. This is a great diet for anyone who is looking to lower their heart rate.
The Flexitarian Diet
This diet is largely vegetarian, with the occasional addition of animal protein. The majority of people on this diet eat meat a few times a week and then eat fully vegetarian the other days.
This is a great diet because there is no one correct way to do it. It’s very flexible and allows you to tailor it to your lifestyle. Benefits of this diet are heart health, weight loss, and a lower chance of diabetes and cancer.
The The MIND Diet
MIND stands for Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay. The goal of this diet is to minimize dementia and the deterioration in brain function that many people experience as they age. It combines foods from the previously listed, mediterranean diet and the DASH diet. It states ten foods to eat, such as vegetables, berries, nuts, and olive oil, and five foods to avoid, such as cheese, butter, and red meat.
This is a great diet to follow if you're trying to avoid Alzheimer's disease. Participants who followed it closely were found to have a 53% lower risk of developing it. Other benefits that were found are decreased inflammation and stress.
All of these diets are very helpful for their own specific reasons. If you're trying to target a specific illness such as heart disease or Alzheimer's disease, I would recommend the DASH or MIND diet. Meanwhile, if you’re trying to become healthier overall, the mediterranean or flexitarian diet would be the best. Make 2022 your year by improving your health and try out one of these diets today! Let us know how they go and we might feature you.
By Cayla Karabanowski