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What to know about the Mediterranean diet

For the seventh straight year, the Mediterranean diet has won the title of best overall diet in U.S. News and World Report’s annual ranking of best diets.

The diet is endorsed by the American Heart Association for its cardiovascular benefits. The diet was shown to reduce the risks of adverse pregnancy outcomes like preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, preterm birth and stillbirth when followed in pregnancy, according to one study.

A study published in February in the journal JAMA Neurology found the popular diet may be one aspect in protecting the brain from signs of Alzheimer’s disease, the most common type of dementia.

The Mediterranean diet emphasizes eating fruits, veggies, whole grains, beans, nuts, legumes, olive oil and flavorful herbs and spices; fish and seafood at least twice a week; and poultry, eggs, cheese and yogurt in moderation, according to U.S. News and World Report.

“Any plan that cuts out an entire food group or fruit or dairy for non-medical reasons is a red flag and it’s the reason the Mediterranean diet is always such a big winner,” Gretel Schueller, managing editor of U.S. News and World Report, previously told ABC News. “The Mediterranean diet is healthy, it’s sustainable, it’s a flavorful way to eat and it’s adaptable.”

If you’re looking to start the Mediterranean diet, here is what you need to know.

What is the Mediterranean diet?

The Mediterranean diet is not one way of eating but a broad term used to describe the eating habits popularized in the countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea, including Italy, Greece, Morocco, Spain and Lebanon.

The way of eating focuses on the quality of foods consumed rather than focusing on a single nutrient or food group, according to U.S. News and World Report.

PHOTO: Vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts, whole grains, fish and <a href=olive oil make up the majority of
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The 10 Best Diets for Better Heart Health, Ranked by Cardiologists

Surprise! The Mediterranean diet falls in the third slot. Learn about the top two diets, plus the other fads that don’t quite make the grade.

Ali Redmond

Ali Redmond

Reviewed by Dietitian Jessica Ball, M.S., RD

The Mediterranean diet is often applauded as one of the best diets for overall health. It is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish and seafood and legumes and light on dairy and meat (and, as a result, low in saturated fat, too, which is a topic still up for debate in the heart-health world). It’s a heart-smart way to eat, and can be beneficial in many other areas of health as well. Mediterranean dieters also tend to have lower risk for certain cancers, cognitive decline, type 2 diabetes and more.

Circling back to heart disease risk, the Mediterranean diet tied for first in the U.S. News and World Report‘s 2022 rankings for the best diets for heart health, but a surprising new victor came out on top in 2023. That 2023 best diet for heart health also earned a gold medal in a new scientific statement from the American Heart Association, published April 27, 2023, in its journal Circulation. The U.S. News and World Report health panel and AHA cardiologists now agree that the DASH diet (which is short for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) appears to be the best diet for heart health.

Read on to learn more about what makes DASH such a heart-smart eating style, then study up on how nine other popular diets ranked in the evidence-based analysis by AHA professionals.

Related:What’s Better for Heart Health: Cardio or Strength Training? Here’s What Research Says

What This Heart Health Study Found

If you’ve scrolled through TikTok lately, chances are high that you’ve been

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The best (and worst) diets for heart health, according to the American Heart Association

From paleo to pescatarian, there’s a seemingly endless list of diets to choose from. But which are the most heart-healthy?

In a statement released Thursday, the American Heart Association rated 10 popular diets based on their standards for heart health.

The diets that rated the best for improving cardiometabolic health included the DASH-style eating plan, the Mediterranean diet, pescatarian and vegetarian. Meanwhile, paleo and ketogenic diets were found to contradict the association’s guidance and did not rank as heart-healthy eating patterns.

“The number of different, popular dietary patterns has proliferated in recent years, and the amount of misinformation about them on social media has reached critical levels,” Christopher D. Gardner, chair of the writing committee for the statement and the Rehnborg Farquhar professor of medicine at Stanford University, said in a press release

“The public – and even many health care professionals – may rightfully be confused about heart-healthy eating, and they may feel that they don’t have the time or the training to evaluate the different diets.” he said. “We hope this statement serves as a tool for clinicians and the public to understand which diets support good cardiometabolic health.”

The DASH-style eating plan, which stands for “Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension,” received a perfect score from the analysis thanks to its emphasis on being low in salt, added sugar, alcohol, tropical oils and processed foods as well as being rich in non-starchy vegetables, fruits, whole grains and legumes. Protien also tends to be mostly from plant sources along with fish, lean meats and low- or fat-free dairy products.

The Mediterranean diet, patterned on the traditional cuisines of the region, emphasizes fresh fruits and vegetables, fish, legumes, nuts and whole grains. It ranked below DASH since it doesn’t “explicitly address added salt

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It’s ‘Been Life Changing’ (Exclusive)

“I still go to bed early, but having one less daily obligation opens up so much brain space,” Seacrest tells PEOPLE exclusively while chatting about his new partnership with Health-Ade

Presley Ann/Getty

Presley Ann/Getty

Gone are the days of bicoastal living for Ryan Seacrest!

The American Idol host — who in addition to his Idol duties co-hosted Live for six years with Kelly Ripa before leaving the show on April 14 — tells PEOPLE what his morning routine looks like now, and how his life has changed since he exited the syndicated ABC daytime series.

“One of the things that I’ve done in the last two months is I’ve slept in the same time zone. I have not done that over a period of two weeks in six years,” says Seacrest, 48, while promoting his new multi-year partnership with Health-Ade Kombucha.

Seacrest famously flew back and forth between New York and California weekly to film the shows. “So just being on the same side of the country for an extended period of time has been life changing,” he adds.

In addition to getting a good night sleep, he said that he’s been enjoying his leisurely mornings living in Los Angeles compared to N.Y.C.

Related:Ryan Seacrest Jokes He Got Out of ‘Live’ ‘in the Nick of Time’ During Return Visit with Kelly Ripa

ABC/Jeff Neira Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest

ABC/Jeff Neira Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest

“I don’t have to get out the door quite as fast onto the streets of Manhattan to get to the show in New York,” he says. “So that’s been a little bit of a change of pace.”

While Seacrest clarified that he “doesn’t harvest” his own coffee beans, per se — like he joked about on his first appearance on Live with Kelly and Mark — he does brew

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Ryan Seacrest talks ‘life changing effects’ of healthy eating: ‘Changing everything up’

Ryan Seacrest talks ‘life changing effects’ of healthy eating: ‘Changing everything up’
Ryan Seacrest talks ‘life changing effects’ of healthy eating: ‘Changing everything up’

Ryan Seacrest, American media personality recently wore his heart on his sleeve, and shed some light into his healthy morning routine.

He started the chat by branding the entire experience of ‘sticking to a routine’ as something ‘lifechanging’.

The biggest habit he credits for making this shift ‘easy’ is ‘sticking to the same time zone’.

He was even quoted telling People magazine, “One of the things that I’ve done in the last two months is I’ve slept in the same time zone. I have not done that over a period of two weeks in six years.”

For those unversed, this change can be branded ‘monumental’ considering Seacrest’s prior habit of flying in between New York and California, weekly.

“So just being on the same side of the country for an extended period of time has been life changing,” he admitted.

Another big aspect contributing to this change is getting ‘leisurely mornings in Los Angeles’ because “I don’t have to get out the door quite as fast onto the streets of Manhattan to get to the show in New York. So that’s been a little bit of a change of pace.”

He also added, “I do get up in the morning, put on my UGG slippers and I go grab my coffee beans and I make my coffee.”

Then “I have a shot of olive oil in the morning before my coffee every day” because “I find that that actually helps with weight loss and helps with your inflammation, helps with all the different systems in your body.”

In regards to diet, Seacrest admits he relies on a Mediterranean diet, given its heavy reliance on “vegetables, fish and salad.”

He also added, “It speaks to me

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