What it is: A traditional Mediterranean diet, eaten by people in Greece, Italy and Spain, emphasizesseasonality.
What the research says: The benefits of a Mediterranean diet have been studied since the 70s, and researchers have found that living that olive oil life can help people lose weight, lower their andcardiovascular disease risk.
New Nordic Diet
What it is: Scientists designed this diet to contain 35 percent meat, more whole grains and locally sourced produce and more than 75 percent organic produce.
Signature foods: Whole grain cereals like oats and rye; and low-fat dairy; meats include beef, pork, lamb and reindeer.
What the research says: Scientists are praising it for its ecological and socioeconomic benefits, as it cuts down on meat production and long-distance imported foods.
Traditional Okinawa Diet
What it is: This low-calorie yet nutrition dense diet is big on fruits and vegetables but sparse when it comes to meat, refined grains, sugar, salt and full-fat dairy.
Signature foods: Sweet potatoes, rice, green leafy vegetables, green and yellow vegetables, soybean-based foods like tofu and soy sauce. Okinawa residents only ate modest amounts of seafood, lean meat, fruit and tea.
What the research says: Modern-day Okinawans are catching up economically with their mainland cousins, which means rates of obesity are rising as well. But the people who grew up eating traditionally are still alive and clinging to their culinary traditions.
Traditional Asian Diet
What it is: It prioritizes rice, noodles and whole grains, as well as fruits, vegetables, legumes, seeds and nuts as the most-eaten food groups.
Signature foods: There are many different countries whose traditional ways of eating follow this model, but they all seem to have white rice as a staple.
What the research says: Asian countries have less incidences of obesity, cardiovascular disease andmetabolic diseases like diabetes than Western countries.
‘French Paradox’ Diet
What it is: The French have some of the lowest obesity rates in the developed world and highest life expectancies, despite the rich food they eat.
Signature foods: Full fat cheese and yogurt, butter, bread, and small but regular amounts of cheese and chocolate are some of the hallmarks of this rich diet.
What the research says: Some researchers think that the so-called “French Paradox” has more to do with lifestyle than anything French people eat. For instance, their portions are small, they don’t snack, they walk everywhere and they eat very, very slowly.