There’s no such thing as a perfect diet – trust us. What works well for someone else might not be right for you at all, so we always recommend taking a balanced approach, listening to your body, and avoiding diet fads at all costs.
That being said, there are some undeniable facts. Some foods are better for our bodies than others, and some ways of eating support strong, healthy bodies while some don’t. Exactly what those things are might surprise you.
With so much information floating around the internet, and advice from ‘experts’ changing by the day, it can be hard to know who to listen to. What we need is real, solid data – and that’s why we’ve been so intrigued by the recent report released by My Fitness Pal. With data coming from 4.2 million users tracking their meals and workouts every day, My Fitness Pal has uncovered some very clear trends in the ways we are eating – and some remarkable correlation between which types of diets lead to more successful health and fitness outcomes.
So, how do the healthiest people eat? You can read the full breakdown here – but let’s get the ball rolling with a couple of the most interesting findings:
If you do one thing, eat more fiber.
We’ve been spruiking a high-fibre diet for ages, and we are very happy to see this backed up by the MFP data. For the most part, all of the users studied had a similar breakdown in terms of calories. They had very similar calorie goals and were logging comparable percentages of fat, carbohydrates, sugar, and protein. But, when it came to fiber intake, the difference was huge. Succesful users on average eat 29% more fiber.
Fat is your friend.
Succesful users ate more healthy fats and oils, like olive oil. They ate less meat (11%) and fewer eggs (13% less), but more yogurt (Greek in particular) and more almonds. They also ate lots more nuts and more cereals.
All analyses were conducted on a sample of 4.2 million MyFitnessPal users in the USA, who were A) recently active on the app, B) had originally signed up with a goal of losing weight, and C) had recorded at least two weight measurements in MyFitnessPal.
That group data was compared with a sample of about 427,000 who were within 5% of their stated goal weight. The comparisons look at differences in diet and exercise habits between that set of 427,000 “successful” users versus all of the other 3.8 million users in the sample.