Best Diets for 2018

This year the DASH and Mediterranean diets tied for first place as best overall diet.

DASH stands for dietary approaches to stop hypertension. It highlights eating fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and minimizing on salt. This diet was created by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute to help individuals lower their high blood pressure. The Mediterranean diet also outlines fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, with moderate alcohol intake. Both have lean proteins such as fish or chicken.

Best Diets

The Mediterranean and DASH diets were voted best diets for 2018. Photo by U.S. News

Both diets were also ranked as easiest to follow, with the Mediterranean diet winning first place and the DASH diet fourth. They also tied for first place as best diet for people with diabetes and claimed top spots in some other categories.

Experts based their choices by how easy the diet was to follow, the likelihood of short-term and long-term weight loss, and how effective it was against diabetes and heart disease. One of the experts mentioned that there is no single diet that fits everyone. You have to find a diet that you can adapt to, manage and maintain over time.

Other best overall diets include Weight Watchers, the Flexitarian diet, Volumetrics, TLC diet and MIND diet.

The Flexitarian diet is mainly a meatless plan that focuses on plant-based foods. Weight Watchers focuses on healthy eating, with point values assigned to foods and a daily point limit. TLC is short for therapeutic changes for high cholesterol; followers exercise more and reduce saturated fat. The MIND diet joins parts of the Mediterranean and DASH diets and pushes to improve brain health.

Best commercial diets: Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers were winners for first and second place. Jenny Craig has low-calorie packaged foods and support from consultants. The Flat Belly diet and Nutritarian tied for third. The Flat Belly plan emphasizes eating healthy, with monounsaturated fats such as from olive oil and nuts and setting a 1,600-calorie daily limit. The Nutritarian diet focuses on a plant-based plan with ”anti-cancer super foods.”

Best weight loss diets: Winners included Weight Watchers, Volumetrics, Jenny Craig, Vegan, and Flexitarian. Volumetrics emphasizes eating foods that fill you up, such as broth-based soups, fruits, and non-starchy vegetables such as tomatoes and mushrooms.

Best fast weight loss diets: Winners were the HMR diet, Weight Watchers, Biggest Loser, Medifast, SlimFast and Volumetrics. The HMR diet is a low-calorie plan with meal replacement shakes that emphasize fruits and vegetables. The Biggest Loser involves eating regular meals with lean protein, fruits, and vegetables and keeping a food journal. Medifast starts with five meal replacements a day and one meal, with more meals introduced as weight is lost. SlimFast is a program of meal replacement shakes.

Best diets for healthy eating: Winners: DASH, Mediterranean, Flexitarian, TLC, Mayo Clinic, MIND, Volumetrics, and Weight Watchers. The Mayo Clinic diet emphasizes healthy lifelong eating.

Easiest to follow: Mediterranean, Flexitarian, Weight Watchers, DASH, and MIND.

Best for diabetes: After the two first-place winners, DASH and Mediterranean, followed the Flexitarian, Mayo Clinic, Vegan, Volumetrics, and Weight Watchers diets.

Best for heart disease: DASH declared the top spot, followed by Mediterranean and Ornish (tie for second) and TLC. Flexitarian, MIND, and Vegan tied for the fifth spot. The Ornish diet ranks foods from healthiest to most satisfying, inspiring followers to focus on the foods from the healthiest group.

Best plant-based diets: The top five are the Mediterranean, Flexitarian, Ornish, Vegetarian, and Traditional Asian diets. The Traditional Asian plan includes low-fat eating with minimal red meat and plenty of fresh fruits, fish, and vegetables.

As mentioned earlier, there is no one diet that works for all. Just because the diet is popular does not mean that it is right for you. The best option for weight loss is to try different diets and find one that is easy for you to stick to long-term.

 

Source: U.S. News & World Report: “Best Diets 2018 rankings.”

Leeman Taylor
B.S. Criminal Justice

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