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Best Diets?

For its 7th year in a row, US News & World report evaluated

thirty-eight of the most-popular diets and revealed what they consider the best of the bunch.1

The periodical aligned with a team of experts

including nutritionists, specialists in diabetes, heart health, human behavior and weight loss, who reviewed the diets regarding how easy they are to follow, their ability to produce short-term and long-term weight loss, their nutritional completeness, safety, and potential for preventing and managing diabetes, heart disease and other chronic diseases.2

They compiled several lists from the results to include a list of the top ten best diets overall,

as well as eight other lists such as best diets for: weight loss, diabetes, and heart health, best plant-based diets, and others. The DASH diet and the Mediterranean diet placed in the top three of more than half of the lists, and ranked first and second respectively in the best diets overall.

All of the diets on the top ten list had common qualities including the following:

An abundance of fruit and vegetables, significant whole grains, lean proteins, legumes (beans, seeds and nuts), and healthy fats. All of the diets recommend including exercise in some way. All recommend limiting salt, sugar, and saturated fat as well as fried foods and fast foods. At some point, if you’re looking to lose weight, calories come in to play.

I highly recommend you take a look at the lists for yourself as there are many interesting details for each diet including answers to questions “how” to follow the diet and the theoretical “why” it was created. You can also look up individual diets of your choosing from a drop-down menu at the bottom of the first page.1 If you’re wondering why your favorite diet wasn’t in the top ten, you can find out why.

My favorite read was the retrospective

article by Dr. David Katz, one of the specialists on the team that analyzed the diets.3 If you read nothing else in addition to this blog post, I highly recommend this short article. His final thought was: “The annual Best Diets overview by US News & World Report is very good. It’s a great place to shop if you are looking for a carefully considered diet. But how much better will it be if, come 2018, you are out of that market altogether!” And I completely agree with his sentiment.

Here’s another great article by Dr. Katz about how successful diet books are written. It’ll explain to you why I don’t pay much attention to popular diet books, but keep my nose in the nutrition research journals.

This year, you can choose to start a diet, or choose to simply start eating healthier

by slowly and methodically incorporating the common qualities of the top ten best diets (above) into your lifestyle. Getting healthier, rather than going on a diet, is surely the long-term way to your optimal health and physique.

Have a question, thought, or comment to share?

Let me know in the comments section below.

 

References:

  1. U.S. News Best Diets. http://health.usnews.com/best-diet
  2. 2. U.S. News How We Rated 38 Eating Plans. http://health.usnews.com/wellness/food/articles/2017-01-04/us-news-best-diets-how-we-rated-38-eating-plans
  3. Very Well: Best and Worst of the Best diets Report. https://www.verywell.com/the-best-and-worst-of-the-best-diets-report-4122171

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