As millions of people begin a new year, they make all kinds of resolutions, most of which are short-lived. Some resolve to drink less, stop smoking, start exercising, be nicer to others, volunteering more, save more money and then there is what some believe is the most common resolution of all – lose weight by going on a diet.
The big question facing the millions who resolve to start on a diet plan to lose weight is deciding which diet plan would be best for them. After all, not every diet is right for every person, even though those who promote specific diets want you to think it will work for you.
Some diets work to reduce belly fat, others to lower blood sugar levels, others to help lower blood pressure, others to reduce salt intake, some are designed to help treat or reduce the risk of developing cancers, heart disease and strokes. There are diets designed to cleanse the kidneys and liver and even some diets purported to help with brain health and memory. Some diets are also designed to help control specific health conditions like colitis, ulcers, irritable bowl syndrome, Crohn’s and other health conditions.
So how does one begin to assess which diet is best for them?
For the tenth year in a row, US News and World Report turned to a panel of health experts to rate the best and worst diets. The panel examined 35 different diets and then issued their ratings, which may be a shock to some. They rated each diet by weight loss, if healthy and then an overall score.
Here are their ratings:
1- Mediterranean Diet – 3/5 weight loss, 4.8/5 healthy and 4.2/5 overall. The Mediterranean Diet focuses largely on fruits, vegetables, olive oil and fish, along with other healthy choice.
2- DASH Diet – 3.1/5 weight loss, 4.8/5 healthy and 4.1/5 overall. The DASH Diet is designed to help control high blood pressure and to prevent or control diabetes.
2- Flexitarian Diet – 3.4/5 weight loss, 4.7/5 healthy and 4.1/5 overall. This diet emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains and plant-based proteins.
4- Weight Watchers Diet – 3.6/5 weight loss, 4.5/5 healthy and 3.9/5 overall. Designed for quick weight loss followed by maintenance of weight loss.
5- Mayo Clinic Diet – 3.2/5 weight loss, 4.4/5 healthy and 3.8/5 overall. Designed for a lifelong habit of healthy eating.
5- MIND Diet – 2.7/5 weight loss, 4.6/5 healthy and 3.8/5 overall. Designed to help prevent mental decline.
5- Volumetrics Diet – 3.5/5 weight loss, 4.5/5 healthy and 3.8/5 overall. Good for heart health.
8- TLC Diet – 2.8/5weight loss, 4.6/5 healthy and 3.7/5 overall. Designed for cardiovascular health.
9- Nordic Diet – 2.9/5 weight loss, 4.5/5 healthy and 3.6/5 overall. Emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains and sea food.
9- Ornish Diet – 3.3/5 weight loss, 4.1/5 healthy and 3.6/5 overall. Restricts fats. Good for heart health, but experts say had to adhere to.
9- Vegetarian Diet – 3.1/5 weight loss, 4.1/5 healthy and 3.5/5 overall. Non-animal products. Good for her heart health.
12- Fertility Diet – 2.4/5 weight loss, 4.2/5 healthy and 3.5/5 overall. Aimed to improve chances of getting pregnant and found to be good with diabetes.
12- Jenny Craig Diet – 3.4/5 weight loss, 3.9/5 healthy and 3.5/5 overall. Easy to follow, but experts see some issues with overall effectiveness.
The next ones are listed in order with the worst diets listed last and the diet, some of which will shock you: Asian Diet, Dr. Well’s Anti-inflammatory Diet, Nutritarian Diet, Vegan Diet, The Engine 2 Diet, South Beach Diet (#18), Biggest Loser Diet, Glycemic Diet, Nutrisystem Diet (#20), Zone Diet, Macrobiotic Diet, SlimFast Diet (#24), HMR Diet, Optavia Diet, Alkaline Diet, Fast Diet.
Here are the worst rated diets by the experts:
29- Paleo Diet – 2.6/5 weight loss, 2.6/5 healthy and 2.4/5 overall. Experts said sounds healthy but really isn’t. They also said if cavemen didn’t eat it, then neither should we.
31- Raw Food Diet – 3.2/5 weight loss, 2.1/5 healthy and 2.3/5 overall. Very difficult to follow.
32- Atkins Diet – 3/5 weight loss, 2/5 healthy and 2.2/5 overall. Low carb not recommended for all purpose diet.
33- Whole30 Diet – 2.3/5 weight loss, 2.4/5 healthy and 2.1/5 overall. Lacks scientific support and extremely restrictive.
34- Keto Diet – 3/5 weight loss, 1.8/5 healthy and 2/5 overall. High fat, low carb diet. One of the most popular diets today is not recommended by the experts.
35- Dukan Diet – 2.5/5 weight loss, 2/5 healthy and 1.9/5 healthy.
Bottom line is that there is no one diet that is best for everyone, although some are better than others. Another lesson is not to listen to all the hype about any certain diet plan, like the Keto Diet.
If contemplating a diet plan for the new year, first determine your specific need. Then talk to your doctor before deciding on which diet is best for you. After all, one diet is better for weight loss, but may impact other health concerns like heart, kidneys, liver, diabetes and cancer.