• Alyce Dugan

Top 5 Best Diets Overall for 2020

By: U.S. News


Mediterranean Diet

This diet has been reviewed by U.S. News' team of expert panelists.


What is Mediterranean Diet?

It's generally accepted that the folks in countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea live longer and suffer less than most Americans from cancer and cardiovascular ailments. The not-so-surprising secret is an active lifestyle, weight control, and a diet low in red meat, sugar and saturated fat and high in produce, nuts and other healthful foods.


The Mediterranean Diet may offer a host of health benefits, including weight loss, heart and brain health, cancer prevention, and diabetes prevention and control. By following the Mediterranean Diet, you could also keep that weight off while avoiding chronic disease.

There isn't "a" Mediterranean diet. Greeks eat differently from Italians, who eat differently from the French and Spanish. But they share many of the same principles. Working with the Harvard School of Public Health, Oldways, a nonprofit food think tank in Boston, developed a consumer-friendly Mediterranean diet pyramid that offers guidelines on how to fill your plate – and maybe wineglass – the Mediterranean way.


DASH Diet

This diet has been reviewed by U.S. News' team of expert panelists.


What is DASH Diet?

The DASH Diet, which stands for dietary approaches to stop hypertension, is promoted by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute to do exactly that: stop (or prevent) hypertension, aka high blood pressure. It emphasizes the foods you've always been told to eat (fruits, veggies, whole grains, lean protein and low-fat dairy), which are high in blood pressure-deflating nutrients like potassium, calcium, protein and fiber.


DASH also discourages foods that are high in saturated fat, such as fatty meats, full-fat dairy foods and tropical oils, as well as sugar-sweetened beverages and sweets. Following DASH also means capping sodium at 2,300 milligrams a day, which followers will eventually lower to about 1,500 milligrams. DASH Diet is balanced and can be followed long term, which is a key reason nutrition experts rank it as U.S. News’ Best Overall Diet, tied with the Mediterranean Diet.


The Flexitarian Diet

This diet has been reviewed by U.S. News' team of expert panelists.


What is The Flexitarian Diet?

Flexitarian is a marriage of two words: flexible and vegetarian. The term was coined more than a decade ago, and in her 2009 book, "The Flexitarian Diet: The Mostly Vegetarian Way to Lose Weight, Be Healthier, Prevent Disease and Add Years to Your Life," registered dietitian Dawn Jackson Blatner says you don't have to eliminate meat completely to reap the health benefits associated with vegetarianism – you can be a vegetarian most of the time, but still chow down on a burger or steak when the urge hits.


By eating more plants and less meat, it’s suggested that adherents to the diet will not only lose weight but can improve their overall health, lowering their rate of heart disease, diabetes and cancer, and live longer as a result.


WW (Weight Watchers) Diet

This diet has been reviewed by U.S. News' team of expert panelists.


What is WW (Weight Watchers) Diet?

Although still used to shed pounds, WW (formerly Weight Watchers) is also focused on inspiring healthy living and improving overall well-being. That includes taking a holistic approach to help members eat healthier and move more. Its new my WW program, launched in late 2019, is its most customized and flexible program yet.


The program builds on WW’s Smart Points system, which assigns every food and beverage a point value, based on its nutrition, and leverages details about food preferences and lifestyle to match each member to one of three comprehensive ways to follow the program.


A backbone of the plan is multi-model access (via in-person workshops, online chat or phone) to support from people who lost weight using WW, kept it off and have been trained in behavioral weight management techniques.


Mayo Clinic Diet

This diet has been reviewed by U.S. News' team of expert panelists.


What is Mayo Clinic Diet?

Weight loss and a healthier lifestyle go hand in hand on the Mayo Clinic Diet. You recalibrate your eating habits, breaking bad ones and replacing them with good ones with the help of the Mayo Clinic's unique food pyramid.


The pyramid emphasizes fruits, veggies and whole grains. In general, these foods have low energy density, meaning you can eat more but take in fewer calories. Think of it this way: For about the same amount of calories you could have a quarter of a Snickers bar or about 2 cups of broccoli. By sticking with the Mayo Clinic Diet, you’re expected to shed 6 to 10 pounds in two weeks and continue losing 1 to 2 pounds weekly until you’ve hit your goal weight.


In 2013, Mayo Clinic published "The Mayo Clinic Diabetes Diet," which our experts did not evaluate. A new edition of this book was published in early 2019. This spin on the standard eating plan is designed for people with prediabetes and Type 2 diabetes, and its advice is specific to lowering blood sugar and keeping levels stable.


Source: U.S. News

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