COLUMBIA, S.C. — “New Year, New me”, many people pledge to get healthy and a part of that is diet.
But eating healthy can mean different things to different people and it can be confusing.
To make it digestible, U.S. News and World Report is out with its list of the best and worst diets. The list is predicted by a team of nationally recognized experts.
The competition is fierce.
To make the cut a team of nationally recognized experts reviewed 35 diets. These diets must meet a list of seven criteria including short-term weight loss, long-term weight loss, effectiveness for cardiovascular disease prevention, effectiveness for preventing diabetes, ease of compliance, nutritional completeness and health risks.
The Mediterranean Diet topped the list for overall health for the third year in a row.
The Mediterranean Diet focuses on olive oil rich in healthy omega-3 fatty acids, fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean protein like fish and chicken, with the occasional piece of red meat. There's no calorie counting, but certain foods are meant to be limited.
“It’s generally accepted that the folks in countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea live longer and suffer less than most Americans from cancer and cardiovascular ailments,” U.S. News and World Report said. “The not-so-surprising secret is an active lifestyle, weight control, and a diet low in red meat, sugar and saturated fat and high in produce, nuts and other healthful foods.”
The diet has heart-healthy and brain-boosting benefits.
The other top contenders have similar priorities.
The Dash Diet--Dash standing for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension sounds fancy and complicated, but it’s really a way of eating that focuses on an abundance of fresh whole foods and cutting out processed food and added salt.
Rounding out the best overall diet list and tied for second; the Flexitarian diet. Think of this as plant-based eating. It’s ideal for people who rather not commit to a full vegetarian or vegan diet.
What are the Diets at the bottom of the list?
According to the report, The Dukan Diet, Ketogenic Diet and Whole30 are three unfavorable diets which happen to be the most popular.
The nutritionists agree these diets are unsustainable long term because they cut out entire food groups, making it difficult to get all the nutrients your body needs.
While these diets come with fast weight loss, chances are they won’t keep you healthy and nourished year after year.
Bottom line, when it comes to diet there is no one size fits all approach. Some of these diets may or may not work for you regardless of expert’s opinions. As always, check in with your health care provider, especially if you have a preexisting medical condition or a large amount of weight to lose.
For the complete report click here.