Mediterranean Diet Named the Best Way to Get Healthy in 2020

updated Jan 9, 2020
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Credit: Shelly Westerhausen/Kitchn

There are so many diets and healthy lifestyles, it can be tough to navigate which one is right for you. Everyone might be talking about the pegan diet (a mix between eating vegan and Paleo), or Whole30, or the ketogenic diet right now, but those might not necessarily be your best option. If you’re feeling lost, here’s a helpful tip: U.S. News recently tried out 35 popular diets and decided that the “best” diet for 2020 is actually the Mediterranean diet.

The Mediterranean diet won out in several categories, making it a versatile choice for people with many different goals in mind. As CNN reports, it ranked highest for the third year in a row as the “best diet for healthy eating, easiest diet to follow, best plant-based diet, and best diet for diabetes.”

What Is the Mediterranean Diet?

Like many of the others on the U.S. News list, the Mediterranean diet is plant-based, meaning that the meals are focused mostly on fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. However, you’ll find many Mediterranean diet recipes that center on fish. You’ll also be using buckets of olive oil (which is packed with healthy fats) and ban butter almost entirely.

The Mediterranean diet has recently been praised in studies for its ability to improve heart health and prevent diabetes and osteoporosis. One study even found that this diet can keep your brain healthy as you age. The Mediterranean diet is perfect for people who are focused not just on weight loss, but also on maintaining their overall health and wellbeing.

How Do Other Diets Rank?

In order to rank the diets, a panel of experts gathered to review research on diets in medical journals and studies. The DASH diet, which helps lower blood pressure, came in second place, while the third place spot went to the


The takeaway here is that the best diets all cut out processed foods and “include balance, maintainability, palatability, family-friendliness, sustainability, along with healthfulness,” as one doctor put it to CNN. And guess what? Whole30 and keto all ranked low among the U.S. News experts.

Experts say that Whole30 and keto are incredibly restrictive, to the point where people have trouble following them over long periods of time. Plus, there is very little science (yet) to back up their effectiveness. On the other hand, the Mediterranean diet allows for occasional indulgences, like wine with dinner, and doesn’t cut out entire food groups.

If you want to improve every aspect of your health, you heard it here from experts you can trust: The Mediterranean diet is the way to go. Here are some of our favorite Mediterranean diet recipes to get you started.