The Best Diets of 2013

January 15, 2013   14 Comments

U.S. News & World Report has taken on the challenge of ranking the best diets for the last three years. How do they do it?

US News Best Diets

They take out a dartboard and some index, that is how I choose what to wear every day.

Actually, they convene a panel of experts, mostly from top colleges and universities, and ask them to rate 29 popular diets. Registered Dieticians and researchers took a hard look at all the data about efficacy and health and chose the DASH diet at the best diet for overall health.

Never heard of it? Yeah, I hadn’t either. Seems my inbox is flooded by diets like Slim Fast, Medifast, and Green Coffee Extract.

Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) was developed by....wait for it......the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, a division of the U.S. government. That’s right people, your tax dollars at work. The best part is you can get FREE guides to the plan here: DASH pdf and DASH overview.

I know you can afford this diet. It was not originally designed for a weight-loss diet but researchers have found that it helps with both losing pounds and cardiovascular health. I call this a Win-Win. The second best diet on the list was also developed by NIH (National Institutes of Health), the TLC (Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes) diet.

When I asked Angela Haupt, editor of Health+Wellness for U.S. News & World Report, why there were many non-profit diets on the top of the list, she said it was easier to find research on these diets that weren’t sponsored by a company and the non-profit diets tended to follow FDA guidelines.

The winner for the best weight-loss diet was Weight Watchers, though DASH will still work for weight loss. The experts didn’t like the cost, but they did like the flexibility to shape your own diet.

Angela was surprised by a common theme of the top diets on the list, “These top diets all are easy to follow, tasty, filling, and have no stringent requirements. You can have alcohol in moderation, and there is plenty of eating throughout the day.”

I guess the idea that you have to eat only cottage cheese and hamburgers to lose weight is out.

Check out the entire list here: US News Best Diets and let me know what you think of it.

I was able to find a book about the DASH diet (see Amazon link below). It was written by a Registered Dietician trained in the DASH diet.

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I will have to look into the Dash Diet as it seems to get good reviews. My husband has high blood pressure.

When I fisrt found out that I had high bp, my doc. recomended the DASH diet.

Thank you so much for posting this. It is nice to bring to light eating plans that have actual science and research behind them and are practical and effective. As Registered Dietitians we deal with every diet in the book, every day...kudos to US News & World Report for doing their homework!

You can get all kids of information and recipes on the dash diet at this site and it is free.

The DASH diet recommends low-fat dairy products, margarine, and vegetable oil. EEK! The best diet is one that involves eating a variety of real, whole foods. Not chemically-laden man-made "food-like" products.

When I saw my doctor last April, my blood pressure was a tad went down on it's own, but my doctor recommended the DASH diet. I had never heard of it until then.

The DASH diet looks just like the WeightWatchers program!

It doesn't appear to be anything groundbreaking to me. Reminds me of the old school food pyramid with an emphasis on sodium. Outside of recommending foods laden with chemicals, it seems pretty solid basic nutrition. A diet is only as good as your desire to stick to it and be healthy.

I agree with Cristina. While WW and Dash are basically good eating programs, it seems uninformed to include processed foods. WW meetings with packaged WW products for sale and being eaten by all around me, seemed less than helpful. Any mediterranean style program is useful, eating only real, whole foods is best.

I also agree with Cristina. Plus my 2 cents' worth is that we don't need to spend anyone's $ anymore! The secret is out. To lose weight and be healthy eat nutrient-rich whole foods. Get off sugar! It's never too early to teach your kids how to recognize food. :)


Just read about the DASH diet. The same info (condensed but thorough) can be found on the national health site at NIH. There is a great way to put together and track an overall, individual eating/exercise plan using this diet on the SuperTracker website, too. Bye!

Your description of PB2 tempted me to purchase the product. charges about $5 per jar, but does not ship to Canada. You may want to SIT DOWN AS YOU READ THIS - wants $40 for that same jar!!! This comment is just to provide information, but it frequently makes it impossible to support these products in Canada.

Thank you for all the great information you offer - I am addicted to your site.


Not only diet decreases hypertension exercise is also necessary with proper diet.


If anyone is interested in finding out more about the Dash diet I looked on the Amazon(au) site and found a couple of the Dash diet books free and several more that were close to free. I bought a couple to see for myself what it's all about,

Cheers Ros

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