The best overall diets of 2024, according to health experts
- One panel found that the best overall diets are the Mediterranean, DASH, and MIND diets.
- They have scientific backing that they can improve cardiovascular and brain health.
- The panel noted that diets such as Keto, Atkins, and HMR were best for rapid weight loss.
- However, these diets generally ranked low compared to the other diets reviewed.
- Nutrition experts say it’s better to focus on sustainable changes rather than quick fixes.
According to the American Dietetic Association, the most popular New Year’s resolution is to lose weight, with many people seeing January 1 as an “empowering and motivating moment” to improve their health.
If you’re like many other people aiming to lose weight, you’re probably wondering what the best diet to try is.
To answer this question, each year US News & World Report brings together a panel of medical and nutrition experts to evaluate the most popular diets to see which ones are best supported by science.
Their experts have vetted each plan to determine if it is safe, nutritionally sound, sustainable, and effective for weight loss.
They also looked into whether each diet might be better for a specific purpose, such as bone health.
We’ll summarize below some of what the panelists found.
The top three diets, according to U.S. News & World Report, were the Mediterranean diet, the DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension), and the MIND (Mediterranean-DASH Intervention to Delay Neurodegeneration) diet.
These diets received scores of 85.1%, 75.4%, and 60.7%, respectively.
According to Barbara Kovalenko, RDN and nutrition consultant at Lasta.app, the Mediterranean diet promotes cardiovascular health because of its emphasis on heart-healthy fats like olive oil and omega-3 fatty acids from fish.
Kovalenko added that the DASH diet is designed to promote healthy blood pressure levels. It encourages reduced sodium consumption, which is also beneficial for cardiovascular health.
Finally, the MIND diet is a combination of the Mediterranean and DASH eating plans. It is designed to support brain health and can reduce the risk of cognitive decline as we age, Kovalenko said.
“Adopting these diets can bring various health benefits, such as improving heart health, reducing inflammation, and improving brain function,” Kovalenko explained. “They prioritize whole, unprocessed foods that nourish the body.”
Other highly rated diets included the Mayo Clinic Diet (55.3%), Flexitarian Diet (53.6%), WeightWatchers (46.1%), Volumetric Diet (41.4%), and Dr. Weil’s Anti-Inflammatory Diet (41.1%) ). and TLC (therapeutic lifestyle changes) diet (39.9%).
One thing that the rankings make clear is that medical professionals do not necessarily equate rapid weight loss with the best way to lose weight.
Some of the top-rated diets for losing weight quickly include the keto diet (100), the Atkin diet (57), and the HMR (Health Management Resources) diet (52).
However, when it comes to the overall rating, these plans scored poorly -46.1%, -46.2%, -33.1% respectively.
The Keto diet and the Atkin diet are both low-carb, high-fat diets and have been somewhat controversial.
They tend to be high in saturated fat, which can raise bad cholesterol. These diets can also be restrictive because they cut out most carbohydrates. This is likely to lead to
However, they are still very popular since carbohydrate restriction puts people in a fat-burning state called “ketosis” which helps suppress appetite and food consumption resulting in weight loss.
The HMR diet is a meal replacement diet. During the initial phase of the plan, people consume three meal replacement shakes, two entrees, and five cups of fruits and vegetables each day.
Among the criticisms cited by U.S. News & World Report were potential monotony and limited options for dining out.
Starting a new diet in a sustainable way is about making gradual, realistic changes to your lifestyle, says Emily Norman, RDN, LDN, a HealthInsiders contributor.
“Instead of strict restrictions, focus on incorporating more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats into your meals,” she advised.
Norman added that you can start by setting achievable goals such as including a serving of leafy greens in your meal or replacing snacks high in added sugar and saturated fat with nuts, berries or a piece of whole fruit.
“The key is to make small adjustments that are consistent with the principles of the chosen diet,” Norman said.
Other steps you can take, according to Norman, include building a support system, staying mindful of portion sizes, and leaving room for occasional indulgence.
All of this can contribute to making your new lifestyle more sustainable.
“The focus should be on long-term health and well-being rather than quick fixes,” she concluded.
According to a U.S. News & World Report panel of medical and nutrition experts, some of the best diets supported by scientific research include the Mediterranean diet, the DASH diet, and the MIND diet.
Diets that produce the fastest weight loss include the keto diet, the Atkin diet, and the HMR diet. However, these plans ranked fairly low overall.
Nutrition experts say that quick fixes don’t work when it comes to losing weight. It’s best to start slow and make small, sustainable changes.