There is so much conflicting advice around regarding diet that it’s difficult to know where to start with this one!
Carbohydrates oscillate between being the cornerstone of a healthy diet and being public enemy number one and various superfoods rotate in and out of fashion faster than you can say ‘ skinny jeans’.
To some extent the old adage that one man’s meat is another man’s poison is valid with diet as the best diet to follow depends to some extent on the health outcomes you are looking for. However the diets which seem to be associated with the best outcomes in terms of overall longevity are the Mediterranean and Japanese diets.
These diets are concepts rather than prescriptive menu plans but both are founded on daily consumption of fruit and vegetables, moderate consumption of lean proteins such as fish and chicken and modest consumption of red meat and negligible consumption of saturated fats, refined sugars and processed foods. Both embrace the traditions of eating as a sociable family affair and encourage mindful eating and sensible portion control.
The Mediterranean diet tends towards daily consumption of wholegrains such as bread, pasta and legumes, whilst the Japanese diet typically includes more rice and soya based products. Olive oil and nuts also feature daily in the Mediterranean diet and it is thought that these ingredients may be responsible for lower rates of heart disease amongst those who follow this way of eating.