An estimated tens of millions of Americans will hit the gym and purge their pantries this month in hopes of slashing pounds and improving their health for the new year. But the diet plan they pick may influence their success.
That’s where U.S. News & World Report’s Best Diets list aims to help. The consumer advice website has released its annual report on what it deems the 38 best diet plans across nine categories, including those programs that are ideal for fast weight loss and healthy eating, as well as those that are most helpful for people prone to diabetes and heart disease.
In its 2017 report, among best overall diets, U.S. News ranked the DASH diet No. 1 for the seventh year in a row, followed by the Mediterranean diet, which climbed from the No. 4 slot last year, according to a news release. The MIND diet came in third place, down from second in 2016. Fourth place consisted of a four-way tie among the Flexitarian diet, the Mayo Clinic Diet, the TLC diet and Weight Watchers.
To compile the list, U.S. News conducted a survey among esteemed U.S. nutritionists, specialists and dietary consultants to analyze the likelihood of any given diet resulting in various health outcomes and in what time span.
Among commercial diets, the Mayo Clinic Diet— which follows a unique food pyramid— ranked first, while Weight Watchers’ point-based system took first place for the best weight-loss diet. For fast weight loss, U.S. News tied Weight Watchers and the HMR Program, which uses meal replacements with additional fruits and veggies, in the No. 1 slot.
The top-rated plan overall, the DASH Diet, aims to prevent hypertension by advising followers to prioritize eating fruits, veggies, whole grains, lean protein and low-fat dairy, and steer clear of sweets, red meat and excessive salt. The DASH Diet can lead to weight loss, and also ranked as a top diet for people prone to diabetes and heart disease.
“Our Best Diet rankings provide the millions of people around the world looking to make a lifestyle change a place to jumpstart their health and fitness goals,” Angela Haupt, assistant managing editor of Health at U.S. News, said in the news release. “Best Diets provides each person a chance to evaluate what diet will work best for them and their particular needs: besides the rankings and data, we offer a detailed profile of each diet, along with sample food diaries and recipes.”