With the holidays over, it’s the perfect time to get back on track. But that’s often easier said than done. Fortunately, the US News and World Report has released its annual diet roundup.
This year, the so-called Mediterranean diet was crowned the best overall diet for the third year in a row. Although there’s no firm definition of what a Mediterranean diet contains, some of its hallmarks include whole grains and legumes that have undergone little processing, a wide variety of fresh vegetables eaten every day, cold pressed extra-virgin olive oil, nuts and seeds, some fish, little meat and dairy products and low to moderate wine intake with meals.
“The Mediterranean Diet may offer a host of health benefits, including weight loss, heart and brain health, cancer prevention, and diabetes prevention and control,” the report read. “By following the Mediterranean Diet, you could also keep that weight off while avoiding chronic disease.”
The DASH diet, designed to help treat or prevent high blood pressure, and the Flexitarian diet, a mostly vegetarian style of eating, tied for second. The DASH diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, grains and low-fat dairy products, while the Flexitarian diet is centred around plant-based foods, however includes some animal products.
“By eating more plants and less meat, it’s suggested that adherents to the diet will not only lose weight but can improve their overall health, lowering their rate of heart disease, diabetes and cancer, and live longer as a result.”
The WW plan (formerly Weight Watchers) nabbed fourth place, while the Mayo Clinic Diet, a style of eating which focuses on fruits, vegetables, whole grains and healthy fats; MIND, a hybrid of the Mediterranean and DASH diets; and Volumetrics, which focuses on low-calorie foods, all tied for fifth place.
Meanwhile, the TLC diet, designed to help lower cholesterol levels, came in at number eight. Ninth place was a three-way tie between; the Nordic diet, an eating plan that focuses of fatty fish; the Ornish diet, which involves following a low-fat, plant-based diet; and the vegetarian diet.
The popular Paleo diet scored poorly on the list, coming in at number 25, as did the Atkins and Keto diets, which came close to last.
“The Paleo diet is ranked poorly among US. News experts, who consider it too restrictive to be healthy or sustainable,” the report read.
The diet encourages its loyal followers to cut out grains, legumes, refined sugars and dairy and eat plenty of meat, seafood, nuts and starchy vegetables.