Who Else Wants a Diet Supported by Science?

Almost 80% of Americans feel confused about what to eat, according to a widely publicized survey by the International Food Information Council Foundation. That’s not surprising when you see nutrition studies that contradict each other and headlines that are more sensational than accurate.

Nutrition is complicated, and research usually has to depend on observational methods that are less reliable than controlled experiments.

So, where does that leave you if you’re trying to make healthy eating choices? Take a look at some of the most popular diets with the strongest scientific evidence to support them.

Some of the Top Diets Backed By Science:

    1. Eat Mediterranean style. This diet is a crowd favorite because you can eat delicious foods while you take care of your heart. That includes plant-based dishes, olive oil, and fish.

    2. Try DASH. While it was originally designed for patients with high blood pressure, this diet is a smart choice for most adults. It’s similar to the Mediterranean plan with some additional steps, like limiting salt.

    3. Use your MIND. Nutritious eating supports your mental and physical health. The MIND diet has been shown to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s and provide other cognitive benefits by restricting saturated fats and promoting foods rich in certain vitamins.

    4. Be a flexitarian. Most vegetarians lapse in less than a year. Many families succeed with a less strict approach to eating more plants and less meat.

    5. Rethink gluten-free products. Cutting out gluten is necessary if you have certain conditions like celiac disease. Otherwise, unprocessed whole grains have many benefits, including helping to prevent heart disease and diabetes.

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Other Tips:

    1. Set new goals. Losing excess weight is important, but it can be difficult for many adults. You’ll probably accomplish more if you focus on healthy eating and let slimming down be a bonus.

    2. Enjoy whole foods. Ultra-processed foods have been linked to cancer and early death. Make vegetables, fruits, and other natural foods the mainstay of your diet.

    3. Increase your fiber. Dietary fiber helps you live longer and satisfies your appetite with fewer calories. You can find it in most whole foods, like apples, broccoli, and beans.

    4. Customize your diet. Individual needs vary based on your genetics, lifestyle, and stage of life. Your doctor or a registered dietician can help you to understand and address your personal priorities.

    5. Check labels. Sugary cereals and other products may look healthy until you read the ingredients. Look for added sugar, salt, and saturated fats.

    6. Watch portion sizes. You can probably enjoy the foods you love, as long as you practice moderation. Pour out a small bowl of chips, instead of snacking on them straight out of the bag.

    7. Limit liquid calories. Soda, alcohol, and juice could be sabotaging your weight loss plans because It’s easy to overlook the calories you drink. Quench your thirst with plain water or unsweetened tea.

    8. Seek support. Numerous studies have found that programs like Weight Watchers succeed because they build social connections. Invite your family and friends to join you in eating healthier. Let each other know what kind of help you need to make positive lifestyle changes.

    9. Dine in. Home cooking enables you to control the menu. One study found that you’ll save an average of 200 calories for each meal you prepare at home, compared to going to a restaurant.

Healthy eating may be easier than you think if you follow a few basic guidelines grounded in science. Focus on whole foods and limit your consumption of sugar, salt, and saturated fats. You’ll enhance your well being, and you may even live longer.

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