Best Diet, Again?

The Lempert Report
January 11, 2023

Phil: And talking about diets, US News and World Report just came out with their 2023 ratings on Tuesday. And the number one diet is the Mediterranean diet, yet again, and what this study showed, and they've got, you know, over 30 experts who really look at these diets in depth to see which ones are the best. What I didn't ever think about is what they said this year is bone and joint health is an area where there's a fair amount of scientific literature, and we recognize our population is aging. So focusing on diets that can increase the quality of life among older individuals is an important element. That's one of the reasons that they're pushing, or that they named the Mediterranean Diet. It can reduce the risk for diabetes, high cholesterol, dementia, memory loss, depression, and breast cancer. And it has been linked to stronger bones, a healthier heart, and longer life. So, you know, we've known for a while that the Mediterranean diet is a great diet, but we haven't been able to get the same kind of attention as Keto does, as Weight Watchers does and a lot of these other ones. So how do we do that? 

Sally: That's a really good question. And you know, this being the sixth year in a row that Mediterranean diet has been named to the best overall diet. You know, what's interesting to me, Phil, is that some of these other really popular diets, really have some of the same principles as the Mediterranean diet. You know, eating whole foods, eating fresh foods and vegetables, eating nuts and seeds and fish, and limiting your sugar and processed food intake. Those are all really important elements of some of these other popular diets like the Dash Diet, which also involves limiting your salt intake, like the Flexitarian diet. But what I really love most about this Mediterranean diet, and you know, what it incorporates, and you kind of touched on it there, is that it touches on how your lifestyle is like, you know, are you, when you're eating, are you sitting down and socializing with friends? 

Sally: Are you using mindfulness when you are eating food? Are you exercising? And we cannot forget about those very, very important parts of diet. In fact, it makes me think of the Blue Zones Diet, which I know we've talked about before, Phil, about Dan Butner and his whole philosophy. You know, he researched all these countries where people live to be over a hundred years old, and there were five spots in the world. And he talks about this a lot, about how people's lifestyles having meaning and purpose and mindfulness and friends that that will really help you succeed in eating healthier. 

Phil: Yeah, we really have to think, you know, in terms of a holistic life. Part of that is diet. And I think that all these diets really get confusing to people. They don't know what to do. They read that Keto is hot today, Atkins is hot, Ornish is hot and so on. And again, to your point, and to Buckner's point with, with Blue Zones, if we could just pull back and really think about our entire lifestyle and that food is part of that lifestyle, I think we could actually make a change. Because here's the reality, America is still getting fatter even with all this information, all the labels, all the diets, all the new plant-based foods, we're still getting fatter and we're still having increased amount of heart disease and cancers. So obviously the way we're doing it doesn't work. And I also believe that, you know, with the government now looking to regulate the word healthy and put healthy and a symbol on products, it's gonna get even more confusing than it is now. 

Sally: Yes. And you know, you mentioned these commercial diets that are really popular, those can be extremely expensive and out of reach for some people. And so, you know, having those dietitians in place in stores to help people who are not able to buy into these commercial diets, you know, they can find the exact same diet and follow it on a budget right there, with the help of their dietitian in their supermarket. 

Phil: Yeah, great point. Great point.