What's the Best Diet in America? The Answer May Surprise You
If you're looking for a hot new plan to get excited about, you'll be disappointed: The tried-and-true beat out fads.
Which diet is the best for weight loss? How about if you have diabetes or heart disease? U.S. News & World Report set out to answer these questions and more, combing through the research and corralling an impressive panel of expert consultants to assemble their Best Diets of 2015 rankings.
If you're looking for a hot new plan to get excited about, you'll be disappointed: The tried-and-true beat out fads. The No. 1Â diet overall? The DASH Diet, short for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, a low-fat, low-sodium, plant-centric diet originally developed to help people lower their blood pressure. DASHÂ has decades of research backing its health and weight-loss benefits, and shelves of books and cookbooks to help you follow it, including the latest, The DASH Diet Younger You.
Other unsexy but solid plans making the top five: the TLC (Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes) Diet, developed by the National Cholesterol Education Program; the classic Mediterranean Diet; good old Weight Watchers; and the Mayo Clinic Diet, developed by experts at (you guessed it) the Mayo Clinic.
Meanwhile, the totally on-trend Paleo DietÂ tied the French crazeÂ Dukan Diet for dead last. (Cue sad trombone.) "The Paleo diet scores poorly every year,Â largely because of how restrictive is," says Angela Haupt, senior health editor for U.S. News. "Dieters will find it more difficult to stick to over the long haul. Theyâ€™ll start to miss having a little sugar or some grains from time to time."
RELATED: 14 Fad Diets You Shouldn't Try
We shouldn't be surprised by the results, says David Katz, MD, director of the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center and one of the U.S. News expert health panelists.Â "After all, the fundamentals of diet and health don't change year to year, despite the fickleness of dietary fads and fashions," he says.
And really, there's no need to pick one particular diet at all, points out Dr. Katz, who last year published his own research review examiningÂ which diet is best for health. "Fads tend to emphasize the exclusivities of dietsâ€”'Here's why mine beats yours,'" he says. "But good dietary attributes can be combined. A diet can be plant-based, and low-glycemic, and flexitarian, and so on. Wholesome foods in sensible combinations can be achieved in a variety of ways."
1. DASH Diet
2. TLC Diet
3. Mediterranean Diet (tie)
3. Weight Watchers (tie)
3. Mayo Clinic Diet (tie)
1. Ornish Diet
2. TLC Diet
3. DASH Diet