Could Atlantic diet cut bad cholesterol and blood sugar more than Mediterranean diet? Everything you need to know

The Mediterranean diet, rich in plant proteins, fruits, vegetables, legumes, dairy, fish, and low-fat olive oil, is not the only approach for heart health, blood sugar, and obesity. The Atlantic diet, a new competitor, may be better.

According to a recent study in JAMA Network, those who followed the Atlantic diet for six months had a lower risk of developing metabolic syndrome, a group of conditions that increase the risk of heart disease and diabetes. These include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high blood sugar, high waist circumference and high triglycerides. The study found the diet to be particularly useful for managing abdominal fat and cholesterol.

Northwest Spain and northern Portugal have minimal heart disease rates, hence this diet is for them. “Like the rainbow-colored Mediterranean diet, it emphasizes fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, lean meats, and fish. Mostly seasonal and local vegetables

The Atlantic diet has more fish, milk, potatoes, fruits, and vegetables than the Mediterranean diet. In addition, it comprises wholegrain cereals, pulses (dry beans, lentils, and chickpeas), and breads, adds Ritika Samaddar, regional head, Max Healthcare Department of Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics.

Samaddar says eating more fish, lentils, and vegetables lowers C-reactive protein, an indication of inflammation. Fish provides Omega-3 fatty acids, which decrease inflammation and aid the heart. Whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, and nuts deliver heart-healthy fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Plant-based diets include potassium and magnesium, which lower blood pressure, she explains.

Samaddar feels that incorporating very small portions of bread makes the diet easily acceptable. “The Atlantic diet is about local culture and sustainability. Generations of people have grown up eating it, so there is a genetic conditioning which predisposes them to adapting their bodies to it. Also, their cereals and breads are wholegrain and home-made, which means complex starch, and served in really small portions. They do not have anything made out of processed flour. Also, they have a communal eating habit, so there is sharing and less tendency to binge,” adds Samaddar.

It involves boiling, steaming, grilling, baking, stewing, and drizzling healthy oil on some foods.It involves boiling, steaming, grilling, baking, stewing, and drizzling healthy oil on some foods. This diet involves slow cooking to lock nutrients in moist, luscious stews. “This tenderizes animal protein faster,” adds Samaddar. This diet involves slow cooking to lock nutrients in moist, luscious stews. “This tenderizes animal protein faster,” adds Samaddar.

They can since the parts are readily available. Except we have more river fish than sea fish. Given our tendency to eat carbs, we must limit them to 25% of our plate and make sure they are complex carbohydrates that take longer to break down and don't spike sugar levels after meals.

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