It’s a new year, and many consumers are dieting with new resolve. Of 25 diets evaluated by U.S. News & World Report, the DASH Diet received top honors as the best overall diet.
According to the report: “DASH was developed to fight high blood pressure, not as an all-purpose diet. But it certainly looked like an all-star to our panel of experts, who gave it high marks for its nutritional completeness, safety, ability to prevent or control diabetes, and role in supporting heart health. Though obscure, it beat out a field full of better-known diets.”
The DASH Diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) focuses on low salt (or low sodium) and high intakes of fruits and vegetables, low-fat or non-fat dairy, and whole grains. It is a high-fiber, low- to moderate-fat diet plan, rich in potassium, calcium, and magnesium.
The second annual Best Diets rankings also included a ranking of Easiest Diets to Follow. Dieters who choose a diet at or near the top of that list are more likely to succeed in staying on their diet for the long haul. Any diet can promise weight loss, but it’s those that dieters can stick with all year—and year after year—that prove successful.
Of the 25 diets evaluated, the five Easiest Diets to Follow are:
- Weight Watchers
- Jenny Craig
- Mediterranean Diet
- Slim-Fast and Volumetrics (tied at #4)
Best Diets 2012 features six other rankings: Best Diets Overall, Best Commercial Diet Plans, Best Weight-Loss Diets, Best Diets for Healthy Eating, Best Diabetes Diets and Best Heart-Healthy Diets. All six rankings were first published in 2011, when U.S. News evaluated a total of 20 diets.
The five new diets added for 2012 are the Abs Diet, Biggest Loser Diet, Dukan Diet, Flat Belly Diet and Macrobiotic Diet.
Big winners across the rankings included:
DASH Diet: ranked #1 in Best Diets Overall, Best Diets for Healthy Eating and Best Diabetes Diets (tie)
Weight Watchers: ranked #1 in Best Weight-Loss Diets, Best Commercial Diet Plans and Easiest Diets to Follow
Biggest Loser Diet: ranked #1 in Best Diabetes Diets (tie)
Ornish Diet: ranked #1 in Best Heart-Healthy Diets
“The Best Diets rankings are designed to guide each dieter to the diet or diets best suited to his or her goal, whether that’s weight loss, management of diabetes, healthy eating or something else,” said U.S. News’s Lindsay Lyon, who directed the project.
About the Rankings:
To create the rankings, U.S. News profiled each diet using information culled from scientific journals, government reports and other resources. Profiles describe how a given diet works, how it breaks down nutritionally, how safe it is and more. A volunteer panel of 22 nationally recognized experts in diet and nutrition reviewed each profile, conducted independent fact-finding, and rated the diets on seven criteria, such as their ability to produce short-term and long-term weight loss. U.S. News converted panelists’ ratings to scores and constructed the rankings. For the Easiest Diets to Follow list, panelists assessed likely taste appeal, ease of initial adjustment, ability to keep dieters from feeling hungry and special eating restrictions.