A team of experts convened by U.S. News & World Report has ranked the trendiest diets of 2018, and placed the Mediterranean Diet and the DASH Diet tied in first as the best of them all.
The Mediterranean Diet is not quite a set meal plan, but rather a pattern of eating well-balanced foods that include whole grains, beans, vegetables, nuts, olive oil, fish and small amounts of poultry, dairy and red wine, NPR reports. The diet also ranked first in the Easy to Follow category.
Angela Haupt, assistant managing editor of health at U.S. News & World Report said, “We continue to see more and more robust research suggesting its benefits for weight loss, heart and brain health, cancer prevention and diabetes prevention and control.”
Other contenders for the top spot in the Easy to Follow class are the commercial weight-loss prescription Weight Watchers and the Flexitarian Diet, which is a flexible eating approach that focuses mostly on vegetarianism.
U.S. News & World Report asks a panel of nutritionists, dietary consultants and doctors who specialize in diabetes, heart health and weight loss to rank dozens of diets each year, according to nine categories. These include ease of adherence, best for heart health and diabetes, best for fast weight loss, and even best plant-based diets.
David Katz, one of the panelists, said,
No single diet is the best for all of us.
Katz directs the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center. He added, “Ultimately, a ‘best’ diet is one that can be adopted, managed and sustained over time.”
There are two new entries this year: the Ketogenic (or “Keto”) Diet and the Nutritarian Diet.
The Keto Diet goes for low carbohydrates and high fat foods in order to lose weight – an idea that has been used as an approach to prevent children with epilepsy from having seizures. It was popular in 2017, but was ranked last. Haupt said, “Our experts agree the low-carb plan isn’t a healthy way to lose weight. It can be extreme — and hard to stick to.”
The Nutritarian Diet, ranked 15th overall, was created by family doctor Joel Fuhrman and emphasizes plants that are full of nutrients, like kale and other leafy vegetables.