US News diet rankings are in, so it’s time to see which diet plans to choose - and which to avoid - when trying to satisfy that New Year’s weight-loss resolution.
US News assembled a crack team of nutritionists, dietary consultants, and physicians to evaluate over 40 different diet plans. They looked into each diet in nine different categories, including best diet for weight loss, best commercial diet plan, and best diet for healthy eating. And while there are certainly some diet plans that score well across all categories, there are a few diet plans you really should avoid.
Angela Haupt, assistant managing editor of health at U.S. News, says that fad diets are really the ones to steer clear of. They’re often enormously restrictive in terms of what you’re allowed to eat, and worst of all isn’t even that healthy.
One of the worst offenders is the Keto diet, according to Haupt. "It really is the diet of the moment, but it can be a pretty extreme plan,” Haupt said. “There's a very strict carb limit. Our experts say it's not necessary to be so extreme or restrictive."
The Keto diet involves restricting carbohydrates - things like bread, noodles, potatoes, and cereal. While it does often cause rapid weight loss it can be impossible to maintain the diet in the long term and it can be hard on your heart. It also encourages dieters to eat as many fatty proteins as they want, even though most nutritionists agree those kinds of foods are bad for you.
"One expert said if a diet recommends snacking on bacon, you can't take it seriously as a health-promoting way to eat," Haupt noted.
Another real loser is the raw diet, which involves only eating raw foods. It can also cause weight loss, but it can be nearly impossible to maintain - especially if you ever go out to a restaurant.
The best diets in the rankings were the DASH diet and Mediterranean diet - two diets that emphasize eating healthy foods like fish, dark leafy green vegetables, nuts, and beans. Both diets are easy to maintain in the long run and are incredibly beneficial in fighting off weight gain, diabetes, and heart disease. There’s also solid scientific research backing both diets up which is lacking from the Raw and Keto diets.