U.S. News and World Report Releases ‘Best Diets’ Rankings

Paleo, vegan, and Atkins didn't even crack the top 15.
Diet and nutrition image via shutterstock

Diet and nutrition image via shutterstock

Sorry Paleo radicals, animal lovers, and Kim Kardashian wannabes: Your diets are not up to par.

On Monday, U.S. News and World Report released its annual “Best Diets” rankings, which take an in-depth look at 32 of the country’s most popular diets and ranks them based ease, nutrition, safety, how effective it is for weight loss, and how it helps prevent diabetes and heart disease.

The DASH Diet took the top spot for the second year in a row. The diet is government-endorsed and stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH). It was originally designed to fight high blood pressure, but it impressed the panel of experts enough to be considered the best overall diet. “DASH was developed to fight high blood pressure, not as an all-purpose diet,” according to U.S. News. “But it certainly looked like an all-star to our panel of experts, who gave it high marks for its nutritional completeness, safety, ability to prevent or control diabetes, and role in supporting heart health. Though obscure, it beat out a field full of better-known diets.” For a detailed explanation of the DASH diet, click here.

The second spot also went to a somewhat obscure diet called the TLC Diet, which is a low-fat diet created by the National Institutes of Health that aims to cut cholesterol.

The third spot was a three-way tie between the Mediterranean Diet (consists of an active lifestyle, weight control, and a diet low in red meat, sugar, and saturated fat); the Mayo Clinic Diet (aims to recalibrate your eating habits using the Mayo Clinic’s unique food pyramid); and Weight Watchers (a diet that uses a point system for food that needs no explanation unless you’ve been living under a rock and have never heard of Jennifer Hudson or Jessica Simpson).

What’s interesting about these rankings is that they don’t leave out big names (like Weight Watchers) or television-endorsed diets like Jenny Craig (No. 8) or the Biggest Loser Diet (No. 9). Surprisingly, some of the most popular diets around right now didn’t even crack the top 10, like the vegetarian diet (No. 11), Nutrisystem (No. 16), the South Beach Diet (No. 18), vegan (tied for 18), the Kim Kardashian-endorsed Atkins diet (No. 29), and Paleo (last spot at No. 31). Sorry, cavemen and CrossFitters.


Melissa Malamut
Melissa Malamut Melissa Malamut, Senior Editor, Health, at Boston Magazine mmalamut@bostonmagazine.com


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