Top Five Diet Plans Ranked
The national magazine, U.S. News and World Report, reported in early 2014 on the top five diet plans. They were ranked according to “healthiness,” meaning nutritional completeness and safety. Obviously, top diets are considered good for weight loss, and optimal health maintenance. None run the risk of consuming too few essential nutrients.
1) The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet was developed years ago to reduce high blood pressure and improve cardiovascular health among people at risk for the disease. It’s rich in fresh produce and low in saturated fats. Salt is low, too. It’s ranked extremely safe, and is excellent for fighting diabetes and heart disease. Compliance with this diet is somewhat difficult, but what healthy eating plan has ever been easy/breezy?
2) The TLC Diet. The Therapeutic Lifestyles Diet was developed by the National Institutes of Health. Highlights include high calcium, lots of fiber, and low saturated fat. Essentially, this is a low-fat diet that resembles DASH.
3) The Mediterranean Diet. The grandaddy of them all. The typical dietary pattern of people living around the Mediterranean basin (before World War II) is considered one of the healthiest, and best-studied dietary patterns of all. It features lots of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, legumes, olive oil and herbs. And little red meat or dairy. And wine. Red wine is celebrated in the cultures modeling this diet. Similar to the DASH and Mayo Clinic Diets.
4) The Mayo Clinic Diet. Developed here in my home state of Minnesota, at the world-renowned Mayo Clinic, this diet focuses on high-fiber, low-calorie foods, like fruits and vegetables, yet features safe, complete nutrition. This diet tied in the rankings with Volumetrics, another low-energy-density foods diet.
5) Weight Watchers. This holdover from the mid-20th century is still plugging along because it actually works. Features a healthy, balanced approach to eating. Dieters use a points system to avoid high-calorie (high-point-value) sweets and fatty foods, while emphasizing fresh, high-fiber foods from the produce aisle. No foods are off limits, but the points system encourages avoidance of “expensive” indulgent foods.