For the fifth year in a row, this diet was ranked number overall one for its effect on weight loss, heart health, and more.
Diets come and go, with many taking the world by storm and then vanishing without much fuss. According to the U.S. News & World Report, the Mediterranean diet is an exception to this rule, continuing to reign supreme for the fifth year in a row, earning the top spot for best diet.
The magazine’s rankings feature a list of the 40 best diets, while also splitting them up in categories, like best diets for diabetes and best diets for weight loss. When it comes to best diets overall, the top three rankings included the Mediterranean diet, the DASH diet, and the Flexitarian diet, which all give the user a sense of choice and freedom.
“I think it’s important to note that the top three diets — Mediterranean, DASH and flexitarian — all offer variety, flexibility and few, if any, rules,” Gretel Schueller, the Health managing editor of the U.S. News & World Report, told CNN. “All the diets that perform well are safe, sensible and backed by sound science. The diet winners also all provide adequate calories with a focus on vegetables, fruits and whole grains; a modest amount of lean protein, dairy; and an occasional treat.”
The diets were selected according to criteria developed by experts, including how easy they were to follow, their effects on weight, whether the diet helped prevent conditions like heart disease or diabetes, its long-term functioning, and more.
Diets that land high up on the list tend to approach the concept of diet in a modern way, focusing on what people are eating instead of what they’re depriving themselves of. These diets tend to recommend meal plans that are healthy, delicious, filling, and that support a change of lifestyle instead of a diet that you’ll quit after you’ve lost the pounds that you initially wanted to get rid of.
The Mediterranean diet is based on the types of food consumed in countries like Greece, Spain, and Italy, which are all located near the Mediterranean sea. People who live in these countries usually have better heart health and more stable body weight. These diets consist in consuming large amounts of fruits, vegetables, fish, nuts, seeds, legumes and more, while still consuming cheese, yogurts, poultry, and dairy in smaller amounts. The foods that this diet limits include red meat, added sugars, processed foods, and the like, something that includes a lot of foods, especially for Americans.
Despite some limitations, it’s a healthy diet that has amassed followers from all over the world, while also helping them discover new dishes and approaches to foods that are delicious and filling.