If you’re one of the 45 million people searching for the best diet to lose weight, you may want to check out the Mediterranean and DASH diets. Both diets tied first in a new assessment from U.S. News & World Report.
The assessment, conducted each year, looked at 40 diet plans across nine categories.
“Whether you’re trying to lose weight or manage a chronic disease like diabetes, the 2018 Best Diets rankings are designed to help consumers identify the right diet for their specific needs,” said Angela Haupt, Assistant Managing Editor of Health at U.S. News in a news release. “By profiling and providing in-depth data on 40 diets, consumers can rely on U.S. News for the tools they need to feel empowered to make well-informed, personalized choices in order to maintain overall healthier lifestyles.”
To calculate the rankings, U.S. News convened an expert panel of the country’s top nutritionists, dietary consultants and physicians specializing in diabetes, heart health and weight loss. Through an in-depth survey, each panelist scored 40 diets in nine categories. They looked at how easy it was to stay on the diet, the likelihood of losing significant weight and whether it was effective against cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
The Mediterranean diet emphasizes eating fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, legumes, olive oil, fish and seafood. Poultry, eggs, cheese and yogurt can be eaten in moderation. The diet also includes indulging in sweets and red meat only on special occasions.
With the DASH diet, a healthy eating pattern helps prevent and lower high blood pressure. If you try DASH, expect to eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products, whole grains, fish, poultry, beans, seeds, and nuts. The diet also contains less sodium; sweets, added sugars, and beverages containing sugar; fats; and red meats than the typical American diet.
While the Mediterranean and DASH diets tied for first and second, the Flexitarian Diet took the No. 3 overall spot, followed by Weight Watchers at No. 4.
Of course, not every diet works for everyone. The best eating plan is one that considers your individual health and weight-loss goals.
“There is an established theme of what is considered healthy eating, but no single diet is the best for all of us,” said panelist Dr. David Katz, director of the Yale University Prevention Research Center. “The U.S. News Best Diets rankings reliably address the expertise from diverse nutrition professionals in evaluating diets. Ultimately, a ‘best’ diet is one that can be adopted, managed and sustained over time.”
The panel also looked at the Keto Diet – a popular low-carb, high-fat regimen. Not only did it rank last on the Best Diet Overall list, health authorities said people with kidney or liver conditions should not try a Keto diet.
One of the categories focused on the best diet for people with diabetes. The Mediterranean diet ranked first with the DASH diet coming second. Tying for third were: the Flexitarian Diet, the Mayo Clinic Diet, the Vegan Diet, Volumetrics and Weight Watchers.