The Mediterranean diet was named the best eating plan for 2019, according to an annual ranking by U.S. News and World Report published Wednesday. It also won best diet for healthy eating, easiest diet to follow, best diet for diabetes, best heart-healthy diet, and best plant-based diet, so it's really an all-around victor.
Following a Mediterranean diet involves eating lots of plants, whole grains, healthy fats (such as olive oil) and lean proteins, and cutting back on processed foods, red meat and refined sugars.
For its rankings, U.S. News and World Report evaluated 41 different diets on factors like weight loss and diet's effectiveness against diseases.
The Mediterranean diet taking the top spot should come as no surprise. "Those things may seem mundane because they're so basic and yet we see year over year that those are the diets that work and have staying power and are the healthiest for us". Other diets at the bottom of the list included the Dukan diet, the Body Reset Diet and the Whole30 diet.
To that end, she said the top three diets are all similar in their food content, and all can be healthy eating regimens.
The DASH diet was second - that's Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. It also limits red meat, salt, and candies. U.S. News ranked it high on the list for being nutritionally complete, easy to follow, and providing long-term weight loss as well as heart health benefits.
Since the diet focuses on heart-healthy fats like olive oil, avocado, and salmon, it also could lower bad cholesterol, a major cause of heart disease, according to the Mayo Clinic.
A 2018 study found the DASH diet can reduce the risk of depression later in life.
In third place, is something new called the Flexitarian Diet.
The eating plan features a wide variety of options, including fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, poultry, and fish.
The diet emphasizes healthy food sources, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, skinless poultry and fish, and nuts and legumes.
Weight Watchers ranked in the top five for best diets overall and also obtained the No. 1 rankings for Best Commercial Diet and Best Weight Loss Diet for 2019. The plan also involves in-person meetings or online chats created to support those in the program and keep them accountable.