Updated: Nov 2
There is no single diet or eating practice that is best for health and longevity. Key considerations for many are eating practices that support weight management and diets that are anti-inflammatory.
Certain trends stand out when it comes to dietary health:
A focus on whole (or minimally processed) foods.
Rich in plants, whole grains, beans and legumes.
A focus on fibre and phytonutrients.
Higher in polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats; lower in saturated fats.
Less 'red' meat.
Include fermented products.
And food should be enjoyable, including the occasional slice of cake or ice cream! (dependent on your goals, of course)
The terms diet and eating practice are often used interchangeably, but it is worth understanding the difference.
Diet: generally referring to short term eating patterns, specific food choices or temporary restrictions in eating choices.
Eating Pattern: a long-term approach to eating that reflects overall dietary habits and preferences.
In this article we share some of the diets, eating patterns that have proven health benefits and link to their individual pages.
Rich in whole foods and much beloved for its Western and Eastern mediterranean tastes, a well studied longevity diet...
Traditional Asian diets (eating patterns), not the modern versions, provide similar health benefits to the Mediterranean diet...
A diet scientifically designed to reduce hypertension...
A diet that focuses on brain health, to prevent Alzheimer's and dementia...
A diet designed to reduce cholesterol and improve cardiovascular health...
What you may notice that all the above diets are plant-based (this does not have to mean excluding all animal products) diets, leading to improved health outcomes across the board...
Enjoying a nutritionally dense diet and maintaining a healthy weight are cornerstones of physical health and vitality. To maximise long-term health outcomes cardiovascular exercise and strength training are vital, as is quality sleep. These can also lead to better mental health outcomes. Finally, let's not neglect our social health – having a good circle of close friends that can support you is important.
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Ferro Y, Mazza E, Salvati M, Santariga E, Giampà S, Spagnuolo R, Doldo P, Pujia R, Coppola A, Gazzaruso C, Pujia A, Montalcini T. Effects of a Portfolio-Mediterranean Diet and a Mediterranean Diet with or without a Sterol-Enriched Yogurt in Individuals with Hypercholesterolemia. Endocrinol Metab (Seoul). 2020 Jun;35(2):298-307. doi: 10.3803/EnM.2020.35.2.298. Epub 2020 Jun 24. PMID: 32615714; PMCID: PMC7386117.
Chiavaroli L, Nishi SK, Khan TA, Braunstein CR, Glenn AJ, Mejia SB, Rahelić D, Kahleová H, Salas-Salvadó J, Jenkins DJA, Kendall CWC, Sievenpiper JL. Portfolio Dietary Pattern and Cardiovascular Disease: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Controlled Trials. Prog Cardiovasc Dis. 2018 May-Jun;61(1):43-53. doi: 10.1016/j.pcad.2018.05.004. Epub 2018 May 26. PMID: 29807048.