It’s a new year, and you may be shopping around for a new diet. With the abundance of options, this isn’t always easy. To make your search a little less painful, a panel of health experts at U.S. News & World Report ranked 40 popular diets based on how easy they are to follow, how well they conform to nutrition recommendations, their short- and long-term weight loss stats, and other health and fitness merits. Here are a handful of standouts which scored top spots in several categories:
- DASH. Tying with the Mediterranean diet for “Best Diet Overall” and “Best Diet for Healthy Eating,” as well as winning “Best Heart-Healthy Diet,” the DASH diet was originally developed to help prevent and treat high blood pressure. However, it’s no wonder it’s associated with other health benefits, such as a lower risk of cancer and kidney stones, as it emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and low-fat dairy while limiting saturated fats, salt, and sugar.
- Mediterranean. Scoring “Best Diabetes Diet,” “Best Plant-Based Diet,” and “Easiest Diet to Follow,” as well as tying with the DASH diet for “Best Diet Overall” and “Best Diet for Healthy Eating,” the Mediterranean diet follows the eating patterns of those living in the Mediterranean region and has been associated with better heart health, cognitive function, and weight management. It emphasizes high intakes of olive oil, fresh produce, legumes, whole grains, and nuts, modest intakes of fish and other seafood, and low intakes of red meat, saturated fats, and sugar.
- Weight Watchers. Coming in at the top of the “Best Weight-Loss Diet” and “Best Commercial Diet Plan” categories, the Weight Watchers diet claims to help dieters lose two pounds per week. The diet uses a point system to promote an active lifestyle and healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, and lean protein, and to discourage unhealthy fats and sugar.
While these three diets may have stood out to this particular panel of health experts, it’s important to understand not all diets are the right fit for everyone. To choose the perfect diet for you, you’ll need to consider how each diet will work with your lifestyle and eating habits. Also, ask yourself if you would do better on a prescriptive diet or if more flexibility is the way for you. Then, settle on a diet you think you can stick to long term—it’s no fun to be on the market for a new diet come February.
Source: U.S. News & World Report