Mediterranean diet ranks No. 1 in U.S. News report

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The U.S. News & World Report rounded up its annual list of best diets in a report released late last week, with the Mediterranean diet taking home the title for best overall diet for 2020.

A panel of appointed health experts evaluated 35 of the most popular diets and identified the best according to nine categories: overall, weight-loss, commercial, diabetes, healthy eating, fast weight-loss, heart-healthy, plant-based, and fast weight-loss diets. Each diet was assigned seven scores on a five-point scale for how easy it is to follow, its ability to produce short-term and long-term weight loss, its nutritional completeness, its safety, and its potential for preventing and managing diabetes and heart disease. Panelists were also instructed to weigh in on what they personally liked and disliked about each diet.

For the third consecutive year, the Mediterranean diet was named the number one best diet overall, boasting a 4.2 overall score, with a 4.8 for overall health, 3.7 for easy to follow, 2.9 for short-term weight loss, and 3.0 for long-term weight loss.

The Mediterranean diet focuses on eating less red meat, sugar, and saturated fat, while incorporating more produce, nuts and whole grains. The diet also took a top spot in four other lists, including the best diets for healthy eating, easiest diets to follow, best diets for diabetes, and best plant-based diets.

The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet came in second place, tying with the Flexitarian Diet, which ranked third last year. The expert panelists awarded the Flexitarian Diet high rankings for nutritional completeness and safety, noting it is practical, healthy, and supported by clinical research.

WW (Weight Watchers) came in fourth place for the best overall diet, followed by the Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay (MIND) diet, Volumetrics, and the Mayo Clinic diet tying for fifth place.

 The newly revamped WW (Weight Watchers) continues to hold the top spot for best commercial diets and best weight loss diets. Volumetrics ranks second for weight loss and Jenny Craig claims second place in best commercial diets. The Health Management Resources (HMR) Diet and the Ornish Diet remained number one for best fast weight loss and best heart-healthy diets, respectively. The Nordic Diet was also ranked as a top plant-based diet, coming in third place for that category.   

Note, we at Integrative Practitioner believe nutrition protocols must be personalized and are not in support of one “plan” over another. However, these rankings can be particularly useful when working with savvy clients who may mention or follow one of these programs. Learn how to have diet conversations with patients by clicking here.