The Best and Worst 2017 Diets
With the help of a health expert panel, U.S. News evaluated and ranked 38 diets of 2017. Rankings were based on a number of factors including how easy the diet is to follow, the outcomes on both short and long-term weight loss, how nutritious and safe it was, and its assistance in preventing diabetes and heart disease. So what diets stood strong and which ones hit the bottom of the list? Let's find out!
The Worst Diets
If you are on any sort of social media outlet, you may be quite surprised to learn the Whole30 plummets to the very bottom of the list. But unlike most eating patterns that permit so-called cheat days," the Whole30 excludes them. And because the diet requires followers to completely cut out sugar, artificial sweeteners, alcohol, grains, legumes and dairy for 30 straight days (no cheating allowed or you have to reset the 30 days), sticking to it may be difficult and form an unhealthy relationship to food.
Rating only slightly higher than the Whole30, the Dukan Diet claims to produce rapid and permanent weight loss, all without feeling hungry. The diet is essentially a high-protein, low-carb diet and broken up into two weight loss and two maintenance phases, mostly including lean proteins, oat bran, and veggies. Because of its hard-to-follow rules and complete ban on certain foods, perhaps the diet is not much better than the Whole30.
Though the Paleo Diet continues to make headway into the lives of dieters and crossfitters. It ranked low on the 2017 list. The Paleo Diet directs its followers to eat like their Paleolithic ancestors, mostly including grassfed beef, fish and seafood, fresh fruits and veggies, and nuts and seeds and excluding whole grains, legumes, dairy, potatoes, and processed foods. Ultimately, cutting out entire food groups and being extremely hard to follow has health experts suggesting it should remain in ancient times with the cavemen.
The Best Diets
For the seventh year in a row, the DASH Diet prevails at the top of the list! Also known as "Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension," the DASH diet focuses on the inclusion of whole foods, limits processed and packaged products, offers some flexibility, and is semi-unrestricting in nature. Though the DASH Diet was developed in aim to reduce high blood pressure (hypertension), benefits of lowered cholesterol, weight loss, and numerous others surfaced. And not to mention, it is not a fad diet claiming bogus outcomes in a dash and is considered a safe plan for all, ultimately contributing to its success and earning the best 2017 diet once again.
The Mediterranean Diet is considered one of the best new diets, rising up this year's list to second place and falling right behind the DASH Diet. The diet is not a traditional diet, but rather an eating pattern and way of life established by people living near the Mediterranean Sea. Among the 38 diets reported, it is considered the best plant-based diets, including moderate consumption of heart-healthy fats like olive oil, fresh veggies and fruits, whole grains and legumes, along with low-fat cheese and yogurt, small portions of fish, eggs, and meat (red meat eaten with rare frequency), and even red wine in small quantities. Following the Mediterranean Diet has shown to increase lifespan, maintain healthy weight, enhance brain function, reduce blood pressure and the risk of certain cancers, heart disease, Alzheimer's disease, strokes, and diabetes.
Although maybe not as popularized or well-recognized as the DASH or Mediterranean Diets, the MIND Diet ranks third on the list. The diet was produced in hopes to prevent Alzheimer's disease by including recognized brain-healthy foods, including green leafy vegetables, nuts, berries, beans, whole grains, chicken, and fish. And rather than most diets promoted to prevent disease without a scientific backing, profound research has found those who followed the MIND Diet moderately reduced their risk of Alzheimer's by 35 percent and for those who stuck to it rigorously, lowered their risk by 53 percent!
Other positively accepted and beneficial diets included the Flexitarian, Mayo Clinic, TLC, and Weight Watchers Diets ("I love bread," anyone?), as they show to be effective long-term approaches to weight loss based on simple, flexible, and unrestricting guideline.
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