What is the Atlantic diet and why it is good for you - New study

For many years, the Mediterranean diet has been considered the holy grail of all diets, but a new study suggests that it has gained serious competition. 

Most popular healthy diet in 2024

The latest food trend and eating plan receiving buzz in 2024 is known as the Atlantic diet or the Southern European Traditional Atlantic Diet. Nutritionists and experts say the Atlantic diet, similar to the Mediterranean diet, includes lots of  unprocessed whole foods or just minimally processed foods and offers great health benefits, making it an excellent choice for those who want to follow a healthy lifestyle.  

The study published in JAMA Network Open, analysed data from a six-month clinical trial that looked at the impact of the local diet on 250 families in a rural town in the northwestern region of Spain Galicia for over a year (from March 3, 2014, to May 29, 2015). The researchers discovered that the study participants had lower rates of metabolic syndrome thanks to following the Atlantic diet. 

Metabolic syndrome, known as insulin resistance syndrome, is a group of conditions that increase the risk of diabetes, stroke, coronary heart disease, and other health issues. People with metabolic syndrome have higher blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugars, and belly fat. Metabolic syndrome is strictly related to the diet so changing your food habits can help you reduce the risk of getting it. 


What exactly is the Atlantic diet?

The Atlantic diet is a food plan followed by the inhabitants of Portugal and Galicia, a northwestern region of Spain (they are both located on the Atlantic coast). It is similar to the Mediterranean diet in terms of the use of vegetables, fruits, olive oil, olives and seafood, but it also includes different whole foods like legumes (chickpeas and beans), rice, potatoes, cod (Atlantic ocean fish), and some meat products like the traditional pork sausage, for example. 

What foods are included in the Atlantic diet?

The Atlantic diet is all about minimally processed, antioxidant-rich plant-based foods. It includes a lot of local fresh seafood and minimally processed seasonal foods such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, pulses and healthy mono-unsaturated fats like olive oil. People who follow this diet eat a lot of potatoes, cabbage, legumes, vegetable soups, nuts, fresh and dried fruits, chestnuts, and cheese, occasionally drink wine, and eat moderate amounts of meat. 

The Atlantic diet is more a lifestyle than just a meal plan. It promotes regular meals, freshly cooked food, spending time with family, being active and going for walks. 

The recent study isn’t the only study that found the health benefits of the Atlantic diet. A study published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology last December looked at data from nearly 36 thousand people over a period of over 14 years and found that the Atlantic diet lowered the risk of early death. Those who followed the diet also had a lower risk of death from cancer and heart disease. 

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