The key to completely transforming your health in 2022 is a lot simpler than you might think
“New Year, new you.” Sounds familiar, right?
Every ball drop brings fresh plans for people to get fit and lose weight. And then, after just a few months, that determination typically falls by the wayside.
But as I just revealed on page 1, the key to sticking to a New Year’s resolution doesn’t have to be hard.
In fact, I often find that simplicity leads to consistency.
So, allow me to describe the ONE DIET that will guarantee success, no matter what your health goals for 2022 might be.
Whether you want to shed pounds, protect your heart, conquer cancer, or sharpen your mind, there’s one eating strategy that you can always count on. And research has shown time and again that this simple and delicious approach is the ace in your pocket…
I’m talking about the Mediterranean diet.
What makes Mediterranean-style diets stand out
While there are different variations of the Mediterranean diet, they all focus on high-fat, low-carb foods—like lean protein, fresh produce, and nuts.
These foods provide a vast array of vitamins, polyphenols, and carotenoids. They also carry a uniquely therapeutic fatty acid profile—filled to the brim with monounsaturated fats (MUFAs) from sources like olive oil, avocados, and macadamia nuts.
In addition, they strike the perfect balance of polyunsaturated omega-6 fatty acids to omega-3s. (Remember, the Standard American Diet brings the balance of omega-3s to omega-6s to about 20:1, inflammatory to anti-inflammatory. But you really want to aim for a precise balance of about 1:1, as our hunter-gatherer ancestors did.)
And that’s precisely what makes Mediterranean-style diets so effective against inflammation and free radicals. But it’s also what makes them one of the most effective approaches for various other ailments… including weight loss.
Reel in your waistline
As part of the PREDIMED trial, researchers randomly assigned subjects to one of three different types of diets:
- A Mediterranean diet rich in extra-virgin olive oil.
- A Mediterranean diet rich in nuts.
- A typical low-fat diet.
None of the subjects cut calories or exercised more than usual. And guess what? Neither approach is necessary to help control your weight—at least, not according to this study.
In fact, all three groups in this trial lost a little bit of weight through diet alone. But the olive oil group lost the most weight—and both Mediterranean-diet groups maintained smaller waistlines—over a five-year period.1
In other words, you don’t have to fear high-fat foods when it comes to weight. On the contrary, you should actually EMBRACE them. Because it’s becoming crystal clear that consuming more healthy fats is the best strategy for long-term weight control and metabolic health.
Plus, as other recent research shows, you don’t even need to lose weight to reap the benefits of a Mediterranean-style diet. That’s because it weakens the link between obesity and cardiovascular death, regardless of body mass index (BMI).
A recent Swedish study looked at BMI, diet, and mortality rates of more than 79,000 men and women over the course of 21 years. During that time, 38 percent of the participants died. But among overweight subjects, those who followed a Mediterranean-style diet were the least likely to die of any cause.2
The same held true for heart disease death. However, diet alone wasn’t able to fully counter the negative effects of obesity… just as having a low BMI wasn’t able to counter the negative effects of a poor diet. So, keeping your waistline in check should always be a priority for good health. And I can’t think of a better way to do so then with the Mediterranean diet.
Now, let’s turn our focus back to heart health, specifically…
Stop lethal cardiovascular events
Another recent study looked at more than 1,000 heart attack patients to find out whether diet could influence the risk of suffering a second lethal cardiovascular event. (Previous research has shown that lifestyle changes can prevent a first heart attack, so this research took their analysis a step further.)
Over the course of a year, half of the subjects followed a Mediterranean diet featuring olive oil, fresh produce, fish, and nuts. They were also instructed to avoid unhealthy fats and high-sugar foods. The other group, meanwhile, followed a high-carb, low-fat diet.
Unsurprisingly, the Mediterranean diet group had less endothelial damage—meaning they had more flexible arteries and better circulation—even when they started the study with very high cardiovascular risk.3
And that’s still not the only deadly condition a Mediterranean-style diet can stop in its tracks…
Fight against prostate cancer
Recently published research found that prostate cancer patients fare better on this diet, too.
In fact, by following this health-boosting diet, men on active surveillance (the fancy term for “watchful waiting”) were less likely to see their prostate cancer progress to a point requiring active treatment.
More specifically, subjects saw their risk of cancer progress drop by more than ten percent with every one-point increase in Mediterranean diet adherence.4
The researchers point to the Mediterranean diet’s anti-inflammatory, antilipidemic, and chemopreventive properties to back these impressive findings.
Of course, given the focus on healthy fats, Mediterranean-style diets also take the top billing for brain health, too…
Slam the brakes on dementia and Parkinson’s
One study looked at data from two major eye disease studies—AREDS and AREDS2—featuring roughly 8,000 patients in total. Then, researchers looked at results from the Modified Mini-Mental State Examination and other cognitive tests, as well as average Mediterranean diet adherence over the course of a year.
Ultimately, they found that subjects with the closest adherence to the Mediterranean diet also had the lowest risk of cognitive impairment—especially if they loaded up on fish and fresh veggies (two staples of the diet).5
Participants who ate the most fish, in particular, enjoyed the slowest rate of cognitive decline—regardless of risk factors like ApoE, a gene with links to Alzheimer’s disease (AD).
Plus, yet another study from German scientists found that Mediterranean-style diet patterns also protect against key hallmarks of AD, including protein deposits and brain atrophy.
This research featured more than 500 subjects with an average age of about 70—and it found that participants who followed a typical Western diet had higher Alzheimer’s biomarkers in their cerebrospinal fluid than participants who followed a Mediterranean-style diet.
The Mediterranean dieters also had greater brain volume in the hippocampus—the area that serves as the memory control center—and performed better on memory tests, to boot.6
But it’s not just Alzheimer’s patients who stand to benefit from this diet. Because in a first-of-its-kind study, researchers found that the Mediterranean diet can also delay the onset of Parkinson’s disease by as many as 17 years in women and eight years in men.7
It only works if you work it
Now, there’s an important caveat to all of the findings reported here: Like any diet, you actually have to stick with the Mediterranean diet if you’re going to reap the benefits. And yes, that means refraining from regularly indulging in fried foods, sweets, refined grains, processed meat, and any other unhealthy foods.
To better understand why this is important, a new study looked at more than 5,000 older adults, all part of the Chicago Health and Aging Project, conducted between 1993 and 2012. Researchers evaluated how closely each subject stuck to their Mediterranean diets. But they also looked at how often the subjects fell into Western diet patterns—and indulged in high-carb, sugar-laden, ultra-processed garbage.
Then, they looked at the link between Mediterranean diet adherence scores and changes in overall cognitive function—including memory and perceptual speed.
Unsurprisingly, the subjects who stuck most closely to the Mediterranean diet—and limited their intake of Western junk food most restrictively—were also the ones who experienced the slowest cognitive decline.8
But get this: People with the highest Mediterranean diet adherence scores were nearly six years younger, cognitively speaking, compared to subjects who adhered to their healthy diet the least.
Even more importantly, this analysis ultimately shows that Western diet patterns significantly drag down cognitive health. And subjects who ate more unhealthy foods didn’t enjoy any of the brain-saving benefits of the Mediterranean diet.
Why the A-List version takes top honors
I don’t know about you, but the science above is more than enough reason for me to make smarter dietary choices—and to pass on cake and fries—more often than not. (I love these indulgences as much as the next person, to be clear.)
But unlike other versions of the Mediterranean diet, my A-List Diet takes things an extra step further—offering even more protection to your health…
For one thing, it’s high-fat, low-carb, and ketogenic. That means plenty of healthy fats, fresh produce, and high-quality protein—like eggs, nuts, fish, and grass-fed and -finished meat. Meanwhile, it stays away from so-called “healthy” whole grains, low-fat dairy, high-sugar fruits, and wine.
Ketogenic dieting is based on the process of ketosis. When your body achieves a state of ketosis, ketones are produced by your liver. And these small molecules provide your body with fuel.
In other words, ketosis is the metabolic state in which your body starts breaking down fat, instead of sugar (from carbohydrates and other unhealthy junk foods), for energy. Your body then uses the byproducts from this process—your ketones—as an alternative fuel source, since sugar is in short supply.
The goal is to mimic the body’s state during fasting, without impairing its ability for growth. And as I’ve mentioned many times before, studies show that fasting and caloric restriction not only create lasting weight loss, but also help lower risk of disease—from Alzheimer’s to cancer to chronic depression, and more.
This is one way that the A-List Diet maximizes the very best benefits of a Mediterranean-style diet. But that’s not the only thing that sets my approach apart… it also unleashes the fat-burning powers of amino acids (that’s what the “A” in “A-List” stands for) to supercharge weight loss. Here’s how…
Amino acids are the missing link
There are 22 amino acids found in the foods we eat—mostly in animal sources, but also to a lesser degree in vegetarian sources. This means your body is constantly absorbing, changing, and recycling the amino acids you feed it.
Now, only three out of the 22 are known as branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) and can be found in a wide variety of protein sources. They include:
- Leucine—found in beans, beef, chicken, pork, seafood, and fish.
- Isoleucine—found in chicken, fish, lamb, pheasant, turkey, and eggs.
- Valine—found in seeds, almonds, beans, beef, chicken, lamb, and pork.
These three A-List aminos will be your key to effortless weight loss and help you shed pounds like you’ve never done before.
That’s because they’ve been scientifically shown to supercharge your metabolism, zap away fat, and help your body build lean muscle. The research on BCAAs is so compelling, that I actually refer to them as “the missing link” between health and weight loss.
In fact, the science of the past decade has confirmed that the right supply of amino acids—either through food sources or nutritional supplements—will turbocharge your metabolism. Get that balance right, and you’ll shed those stubborn pounds and say goodbye to weight loss plateaus with minimal effort.
The simplest way to do so is by following my A-List Diet. In it, I break down the science into personalized easy-to-follow guidelines.
I even provide an entire section for you to first figure out your goals and what “type” of A-List dieter you are—before diving into very detailed next steps.
So if you haven’t ordered your copy of the A-List Diet book yet, don’t wait until another new year comes and goes. Head over to the “books” tab of my website,
www.DrPescatore.com, or to www.AListDietBook.com.
Read it and start following it today—and scratch “weight loss” off of your resolution list for good.
- “High-Fat Mediterranean Diet Does Not Lead to Weight Gain.” Medscape Medical News, 06/06/2016. (https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/864447)
- Michaëlsson K, et al.“Combined associations of body mass index and adherence to a Mediterranean-like diet with all-cause and cardiovascular mortality: A cohort study.” PLOS Medicine, 2020; 17 (9): e1003331 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1003331
- Yubero-Serrano EM, et al.“Mediterranean diet and endothelial function in patients with coronary heart disease: An analysis of the CORDIOPREV randomized controlled trial.” PLOS Medicine, 2020; 17 (9): e1003282 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1003282
- Gregg JR et al. “Adherence to the Mediterranean diet and grade group progression in localized prostate cancer: An active surveillance cohort.”Cancer, 2021 DOI: 10.1002/cncr.33182
- Keenan TD, et al. “Adherence to a Mediterranean diet and cognitive function in the Age-Related Eye Disease Studies 1 & 2.”Alzheimer’s & Dementia, 2020; DOI: 10.1002/alz.12077
- 6.Ballarini T, et al. “Mediterranean Diet, Alzheimer Disease Biomarkers and Brain Atrophy in Old Age.” Neurology, 2021 DOI: 1212/WNL.0000000000012067
- Metcalfe-Roach A, et al.“MIND and Mediterranean Diets Associated with Later Onset of Parkinson’s Disease.” Movement Disorders, 2021; DOI: 10.1002/mds.28464
- Agarwal P, et al. “Unhealthy foods may attenuate the beneficial relation of a Mediterranean diet to cognitive decline.” Alzheimer’s Dement. 2021 Jan 7.