The Year’s Best Diet

by karen on September 6, 2019

According to U.S. News & World Report, the Mediterranean diet earned top billing in their annual Best Diet rankings. Bells and whistles for this wonderfully healthy and delicious diet! A panel of 25 nationally recognized health experts—including dietitians and specialists in diabetes, heart health, human behavior, and weight loss—combed through research and expert findings on diets, and the Mediterranean diet (rightfully) came out on top.

41 different eating plans across nine categories were reviewed, with categories including ease of compliance, likelihood of losing significant weight in the short- and long-term, and effectiveness against heart disease and diabetes. The Mediterannean Diet beat out the competition with the largest body of evidence proving its benefits in helping prevent chronic disease.

Put the Mediterannean Diet to Work for You

The Mediterannean style of eating focuses on fruits and vegetables; whole grains; lean proteins comprised primarily of fish, seafood, and legumes; and healthy fat from olive oil. Start with these healthy swaps to reap the benefits of the unprocessed, whole foods that shape Mediterannean meals.

Swap White Toast with Butter for Whole-Wheat Lagana (Greek bread) with Olive Oil Butter and a Drizzle of Honey

Swap Honey Bunches of Oats for Cereal Hot Barley Cereal with Walnuts, Flax and Blueberries

Swap Cheeseburger for Veggie Burger on Whole-Grain Pita with Red Pepper Tapenade

Swap Roast Beef Sandwich for Tuna Salad on Arugula with Roasted Beets and Greek Dressing

Swap Fried Chicken with Mashed Potatoes and Gravy for Grilled Chicken Kabob with Mushrooms, Bell Pepper and Eggplant over Whole-Wheat Couscous

Swap Pork Chop and Stuffing for Blackened Salmon with Green Bean and Garbanzo Salad, Mixed Berries

Swap Potato Chips with Ranch Dip for Whole-Grain Crackers and Hummus

Swap M & Ms Candy for Cashews with Dark Chocolate Chips and Dried Cranberries

Swap Carrot Cake for Mediterranean Apple Cake (see recipe below)

Mediterranean Apple Cake

printable PDF version here Mediterranean Apple Cake Recipe


  • 2 large Gala apples, peeled and finely chopped
  • Orange juice to soak apples in
  • 1.5 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 1.5 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup EVOO (extra-virgin olive oil)
  • 2 large eggs
  • ⅔ cup golden raisins, soaked in warm water for 15 minutes, then drained
  • Powdered sugar for dusting


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Grease and flour a 9-inch cake pan
  3. Place the apples in a bowl and add orange juice to cover (keeps apples from browning)
  4. In a large mixing bowl, sift together flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder and baking soda. Set aside.
  5. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk, add the sugar and EVOO and beat on low for 2 minutes.
  6. Add the eggs, one at a time, and continue to mix
  7. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and add the wet mixture. Using a wooden spoon, stir until just blended (it will be a thick batter).
  8. Drain the apples and pat dry. Add the apples and drained raisins to the batter and mix until well-combined.
  9. Put the batter in the prepared pan
  10. Bake for 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted into cake center comes out clean
  11. Cool on a cake rack and transfer to cake plate. Dust with powdered sugar.

Nutrition Facts (per ⅛ cake)

Calories                     356
Total Fat                    11 g
Total Carb                 58 g
Fiber                         6 g
Protein                      7 g

It is estimated that if we adopted a diet that follows even 20% more Mediterranean food choices, the U.S. would save $25.7 billion per year in health care costs. That’s savings in all of our pockets for improving and protecting our health. Let’s make it real, one healthy food swap at a time.

Karen Fisher, MS, RD, LDN, CDE is a dietitian in Reno, Nevada, happily promoting the benefits of healthy foods at her nutrition consulting firm, Nutrition Connection. Find her website

To find a nutrition expert in your area, go to the academy website – Find an Expert

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