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5 most healthy diets

Ideologists of proper nutrition say: choosing a diet, remember – you need to sit on it all your life. So, it should be right for you. But how to choose the best?

5 most healthy diets

The authoritative American source US News & World Report recently published a list of the best diets of 2020. We studied them together with the director of the National Research Center “Healthy Nutrition” Zinaida Medvedeva . And identified the five healthiest diets.

1. Mediterranean

In the first place is the rating of US News & World Report, as well as many other ratings of the last few years. In fact, this is the usual diet of the population of the Mediterranean region .

What it is: without limitation, fruits, vegetables, rich omega-3 seafood, olive oil, nuts. Saturated fats, red meat and added sugar are only allowed in small quantities. But you can afford a glass of red wine and cheese for dinner.

Pros: reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes; does not require starvation, which means that it will help not only lose weight, but also stay in the desired weight – you can stick to it all your life.

Cons: fresh quality fruits and fish are quite expensive.

2. Scandinavian

The Nordic countries adapted the Mediterranean diet to their conditions and called the Scandinavian nutrition plan. Doctors believe that such a diet greatly affects the prevention of cardiovascular disease and prolongs life.

What is: the basis of nutrition – leafy greens, vegetables, as well as unsaturated fats – from vegetable oil, fish, nuts. Limit or exclude animals and trans fats, sugar, refined, that is, fully processed, foods, meat and milk fat.
Sample menu for the day *
Breakfast: sugar-free yogurt with berries and a drop of honey.

Snack: a pinch of almond.

Lunch: fish with leafy greens and vinaigrette.

Dinner: chicken breast with a side dish of dark rice with stewed vegetables: a mixture of beans, carrots and sweet onions.


This nutrition system was developed by cardiologists. The name encoded “Dietary nutrition to combat hypertension.” Hypertension is one of the main causes of mortality. In order for the treatment to be effective, it is necessary to maintain it with proper nutrition.

What it is: we eat whole grains, fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy products and low-fat protein – poultry, fish, nuts and beans.

Features of the DASH diet are low in fat and cholesterol. The main sources of fats are vegetable oils rich in omega-3 and omega-6, and some vegetables, such as avocados. With hypertension, it is very important to reduce salt intake; Use herbs and spices to flavor foods.

Pros:As a rule, people lose or maintain their weight; their blood pressure decreases and the risk of heart and kidney diseases decreases.

Cons: not specifically tailored for weight loss.
Sample menu for the day
Breakfast: fruit salad with yogurt and walnuts, whole grain bread with vegetable spread, tea.

Snack: a mixture of seeds, nuts and dried fruits.

Lunch: homemade boiled chicken shawarma with turmeric and vegetables.

Dinner: whole grain spaghetti with tomato sauce without salt, a salad of a mixture of leafy greens with nectarine, seasoned with olive oil.

flat lay photography of vegetable salad on plate
Photo by Ella Olsson on

4. Flexitarianism

In English, the word flexitarian is a combination of the words flexible (flexible) and vegetarian (vegetarian). Simply put, a Flexitarian is a vegetarian who sometimes eats meat.

What is: the basis of nutrition – vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts and seeds. Plant-based foods, rich in vitamins and antioxidants, help maintain youth and fight inflammation in the body.

“A complete rejection of meat, dairy products and eggs is not required, but their number is limited,” comments Zinaida Medvedev . – The main place on the table will be plant products.

Pros:According to research, diet helps reduce weight and improves metabolism. Blood pressure is normalized, the risk of type 2 diabetes is reduced, and there is a fight against inflammatory processes in the body.

Cons: many flexitarians over time completely switch to vegetarianism. But plant proteins are unable to completely replace animals, and this can cause health problems.
Sample menu for the day
Breakfast: 150 g of cottage cheese (low fat or low fat), vegetables (bell peppers) and greens – lettuce and parsley.

Snack: apple, a small banana, a handful of nuts.

Lunch: vegetable soup with potatoes, beans, cauliflower.

Snack: a glass of orange fresh, 3 – 4 pcs. any dried fruit, 3 pcs. almonds.

Dinner: mashed beans, vegetable salad without oil, any cabbage stewed without adding oil.


5. Weight Watchers

A diet with such a strange name was invented in 1961 by an American housewife, who gathered a group of friends for joint weight loss. Nowadays, Weight Watchers has offices around the world, and weight loss techniques and benefits are distributed on a commercial basis.

The diet of weight watchers is based on scoring. Each product is assigned a certain number of points, and the task is not to score more points per day than it should be. Losing weight keeps a diary, which records in detail how much and what was eaten.

Pros: there is no need to study the composition of products and their properties. It is enough to compare the dishes on the table with detailed tables.


  • Initially, the weight watcher system took into account only the number of calories. Over time, it was improved by calculating the required amount of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, and fiber. But oddities in the recommendations still occur.
  • Complete tables are distributed commercially.
  • It is difficult to maintain a diet for a long time since the number of allowed points is constantly decreasing.

Sample menu for the day
Breakfast: a sandwich with soft low-fat cheese, a couple of onions, and smoked redfish (30 g) – 4 points. Coffee with cream and sugar –
1 point.

Snack: 1 apple, yogurt – 180 g (3 points).

Lunch: mashed soup with vegetables, a sandwich with rye bread, tomato, basil, and feta cheese – 5 points.

Snack: smoothie with low-fat yogurt (250 g), a handful of berries and a banana – 3 points.

Dinner: oatmeal in milk – 150 g, raisins – 2 teaspoons, natural honey – 1 teaspoon, orange juice – 1 cup (total 6 points).

To keep the brain youthful

The MIND diet was developed by scientists at the University of Chicago at Rush following a study by the National Institute on Aging. Scientists have studied the prevention of age-related diseases of the nervous system. It was found that just such a diet improves the mental functions of the nervous system, reduces the risk of dementia, and even allows you to increase the thickness of the cerebral cortex.

Proper nutrition for aged people is especially important.

“At least a 4-fold increase in the risk of Alzheimer’s getting trans fat,” says Zinaida Medvedeva. – Recent studies have shown that cholesterol plays a major role in the development of the disease: it damages nerve cells and the connections between them.

What it is: foods that are good for the brain are released. These are green leafy vegetables, nuts, and berries, legumes, whole grains, low-fat fish and poultry. Scientists are particularly focusing on leafy vegetables. They are a powerful source of lutein, which helps maintain mental acuity at an older age.

The following foods should be discarded: red meat, fatty dairy products, pastries and sweets, fried foods, and fast food.

– In order to adhere to this diet and benefit from it, you need to eat at least 3 servings of whole grains, one green leafy vegetable and another any other vegetable every day, drink a glass of wine every day, mainly take nuts for a snack, eat legumes about a day later at least twice a week eat poultry and berries and eat fish at least once a week. Refuel food with vegetable oil, olive or canola, ”explains our expert.

Pros: diet reduces the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and slows cognitive impairment in the elderly by 35 – 53%. The scatter in the data depends on how strictly they followed the diet.

Cons: fish, berries, fresh vegetables are far from affordable for all elderly people.
Sample menu for the day
Breakfast: oatmeal with blueberries and almonds.

Snack: a mixture of seeds, nuts and dried fruits.

Lunch: cabbage and quinoa salad with almonds, tomatoes, broccoli, dressing – olive oil with apple cider vinegar.

Dinner: fried chicken breast with brown rice, broccoli, cauliflower, peppers and cashews.

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