Which Diet Plans are the Best?

In 2017, the U.S. News and World’s Report evaluated and ranked 40 diets with input from a panel of health experts (you can visit https://health.usnews.com/best-diet/experts to check out the list of experts). According to the U.S. News site, in order for a diet to be top-rated, it had to be safe, relatively easy to follow, nutritious, effective for weight loss, and effective in preventing diabetes and heart disease.

At the top of the list were the DASH Diet and the Mediterranean Diet, which tied for first place. The DASH Diet received high marks for its nutritional completeness, safety, ability to prevent or control diabetes, and its role in supporting heart health. And the Mediterranean Diet received high marks for its balanced and nutritional approach to eating, with an emphasis on fruits and vegetables, olive oil, and fish. Next in line (#3) was the Flexitarian Diet, which was ranked highly due to balanced nutrition, flexibility/easiness to follow, and its long-term weight loss results. The Weight Watchers Diet came in at #4 based on its nutritional completeness, safety, short- and long-term weight loss results, easiness to follow, and its emphasis on group support. And two diets tied for fifth place among the highest rated diets: the MIND Diet and the TLC diet. The MIND diet is an evidence-based diet that combines the DASH and Mediterranean diets and focuses on foods that are known to specifically affect brain health. And the TLC Diet, created by the National Institutes of Health, is reported as being nutritionally sound and promoting cardiovascular health.

The five lowest ranking diets include the following: At #36, the Atkins Diet, while quite effective in short-term weight loss, was reported to score very poorly in long-term weight loss, nutrition, safety, and heart health. The Body Reset Diet came in at #37, and was reported as being difficult to follow and having poor long-term weight loss results. The Whole30 diet ranked #38 due to its absence of scientific support, its severely restrictive nature, its elimination of whole grains, legumes and dairy; and its short-term approach and long-term promises. The Dukan Diet and the Keto Diet tied for last place. The Dukan diet got the thumbs down due to its extreme restrictiveness and lack of evidence supporting its safety or effectiveness. And the Keto Diet was ranked at the very bottom of the list due to its nutritional imbalance, which was so poor that some of the experts reported that anyone following this diet should be under a doctor’s supervision. Additionally, experts found this diet to be particular rigid, which would make it difficult diet to sustain.

To view the complete list, visit https://health.usnews.com/wellness/food/slideshows/best-diets-overall. NHR

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