What are the Best and Worst Diet Plans?
January 9, 2017 11 Comments
Every year, US News & World Reports comes out with their list of best and worst diet plans.
I am always interested because the list is quite serious. They asked experts in nutrition (RDs and MDs) to review 38 diet plans and give their unbiased assessment of the latest programs.
Every year the winner of the best diet (for a couple of years now) has been one that you can access for free! Isn’t that amazing? The winner is called the DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) and it was created for people who are trying to minimize their risk of heart disease. The panelists think it is the best diet for all of us.
The Best Diets Overall:
1. DASH Diet
2. Mediterranean Diet
3. MIND Diet
You can get a plan of the Dash Diet as well as a list of recipes to support the plan for free – DASH friendly recipes.
The panelists loved how the DASH diet was well-balanced and seemed sustainable over the long term. They also liked how it was well researched.
What about the worst diets? Obviously they couldn’t look at every diet plan on the market but it is interesting which ones occupied the last spots in the 38 plan list.
38. Whole30 Diet
37. Dukan Diet
36. Paleo Diet
I have written about the Whole 30 and I have to agree that it doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. These diets are very restrictive and don’t seem sustainable for the long term. Also, they wipe out entire food groups – which seems unnecessary to me for a healthy diet.
Moderation is a good thing and all three of these diets are extreme. The worst part about them is that there is no independent research to back up their claims. Personally, I want to know that a diet plan has worked in a large group of people before I commit my time, money, and energy to following it.
When I read through the DASH diet, I see an emphasis on lean meats, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. How could you go wrong?
Finally, they list the best diets for weight loss:
1. Weight Watchers
2. Jenny Craig
Jenny Craig and Volumetrics tied for #2. They liked that all three of these were evidence based and felt that they did lead to short term weight loss. Of course, you still need a diet that can sustain you, right? Volumetrics is the least expensive of the three (requires a book) and it makes sense to me. You eat a larger volume of fruits and vegetables to help you from getting hungry while you cut down on calories.
Have you tried any of these diets. What do you think? Were they helpful?
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