New study connects Atlantic Diet to health benefits – How to follow it

The Atlantic Diet, similar to the Mediterranean Diet, may offer similar disease-reducing nutritional benefits.

The Atlantic Diet: A New Player in the Healthy Eating Game 🐟🌽🍇

You’ve probably heard of the Mediterranean diet: it’s not new in the slightest but is consistently trendy because of the way research continues to link it to general health and longevity. But have you heard of the Atlantic diet? 🌊 A recent study published this month in JAMA linked a diet plentiful in fish, dried fruits, vegetables, beans, and minimally processed foods with a lower risk of metabolic syndrome, a term for a variety of common health conditions that raise the risk of chronic disease.

Specifically, researchers recruited families in 2014 and 2015, which included more than 500 individual participants, to compare their rate of developing metabolic syndrome during a six-month follow-up. A secondary analysis of the study was conducted from 2021 to late 2023. Those who followed the Atlantic diet were less likely to develop metabolic syndrome (3% of people who didn’t have metabolic syndrome in the study) than those who stuck with their usual lifestyle (7%) [^1^].

Unveiling Metabolic Syndrome and Its Dangers 🚫💪

Now, you may be wondering, what exactly is metabolic syndrome? It’s a general term given when someone has a few health markers that may interfere with the way your body metabolizes energy or how your cardiovascular system functions. This includes things like high blood sugar, high blood pressure, unhealthy cholesterol levels, and more. It can also be called insulin resistance syndrome.

Wellness markers that make up metabolic syndrome often run hand in hand with each other and raise your risk for developing long-lasting or dangerous health conditions such as diabetes, stroke, or heart disease—another catch-all term for the number one cause of death in the US. According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, about one in three adults in the US have metabolic syndrome [^2^].

Although the Atlantic diet was shown to have positive effects on certain aspects of metabolic syndrome—such as reducing the risk of high waist circumference and low levels of “good cholesterol”—it did not have a significant impact on high blood pressure, fasting insulin, and triglyceride levels (fat in the blood) [^1^].

Taking a Dive into the Atlantic Diet 🌊🥦🍷

So, what exactly does the Atlantic diet consist of? According to the JAMA study, the Atlantic diet centers on:

  • Fruits and vegetables 🍎🥕
  • Whole grains 🌾
  • Beans 🌱
  • Olive oil 🌿
  • Fish and seafood 🐟🦀
  • Starch-based products (such as potatoes or rice) 🥔🍚
  • Dried fruits, notably chestnuts 🌰
  • Dairy (milk and cheese) 🥛🧀
  • Moderate amounts of meat and wine 🍖🍷

It’s worth noting that the Atlantic diet gets its name because it’s based on the lifestyle and food choices of people from northern Portugal and northwestern Spain, regions that sit on the Atlantic Ocean 🌊🗺️. However, the actually eating habits may vary slightly from one person to another, as the diet places a particular emphasis on local, seasonal foods and family-centered eating [^1^].

Atlantic Diet vs. Mediterranean Diet: What’s the Big Difference? 🐟🥦🌽

If you’re wondering how a diet rich in plants, healthy fats, and lean proteins is different from a Mediterranean diet, that’s a fair take. The Atlantic and Mediterranean diets (or any sustainable, heart-healthy diet) both emphasize nutrient-dense foods like vegetables, olive oil, fish, and legumes, while minimizing red meat and heavily processed foods.

According to the Washington Post, some differences within the Atlantic diet are that it may include more meat and more brassicas, which are vegetables like kale and cabbage. But when it comes down to it, the significance of both the Atlantic and Mediterranean diets may have less to do with the region or body of water they’re named after and more to do with the fundamental principles they share.

If you were to comb through the archives of nutrition tips from experts and dietitians, you’d find that the advice for most people’s plates remains roughly the same: fill up on colorful plants (fruits and vegetables), get your fill of healthy fats (like olive oil and avocados), look for lean proteins (beans, lentils, and fish), and carb it up with whole grains or starchy bases. Moderation is also key—limited but not restricted consumption of things like red meat, alcohol, or sugary treats is perfectly fine, as long as they’re not the mainstay of your diet every day [^3^].

Now that we’ve explored the amazing benefits of the Atlantic diet, why not give it a try? Your health will thank you! 🙌 And remember, always consult with your healthcare professional or a registered dietitian before making any drastic changes to your diet.

🙋‍♀️🙋‍♂️ Q&A Time: Addressing Your Concerns

🤔 What are the key differences between the Atlantic and Mediterranean diets?

The Atlantic and Mediterranean diets have many similarities, as they both focus on plant-based foods, healthy fats, and lean proteins. However, the Atlantic diet may include more meat and brassicas, while the Mediterranean diet emphasizes red wine and certain types of fruits. Additionally, the Atlantic diet is based on the lifestyle and foods of northern Portugal and northwestern Spain, while the Mediterranean diet is inspired by the eating habits of countries in the Mediterranean region [^1^].

🥦 Are there any specific health benefits to following the Atlantic diet?

Absolutely! Following the Atlantic diet has been linked to a lower risk of metabolic syndrome, which includes health markers like high blood sugar, high blood pressure, and unhealthy cholesterol levels. Additionally, the Atlantic diet promotes overall heart health, as it incorporates nutrient-dense foods and limits the consumption of red meat and heavily processed foods [^1^].

🐟 Can I still get enough protein on the Atlantic diet if I don’t eat much meat?

Certainly! While the Atlantic diet does include moderate amounts of meat and seafood, there are plenty of other protein-rich food options to choose from. Beans, lentils, dairy, and even vegetarian sources like tofu and tempeh can provide you with the protein your body needs [^1^].

📚 References

  1. Study on the Atlantic Diet and Metabolic Syndrome
  2. Metabolic Syndrome and its Dangers
  3. The Washington Post: Atlantic Diet vs. Mediterranean Diet

📢📢 Share this article with your friends and family on social media so they can discover the amazing benefits of the Atlantic diet too! 🌊🥦🐟