U.S. News & World Report's choices are healthy eating guidelines, not fast weight loss plans.

By Renee Cherry
Advertisement
Photo: Flaffy / Shutterstock

Choosing and sticking to a diet is made even harder by the fact that a new trendy variety pops up nearly every five minutes. Luckily, there's a handy ranked list to help you choose. U.S. News & World Report released its best diets for 2018 just in time for anyone who is setting (and maybe already struggling with) healthy eating goals.

FYI, to come up with its top picks, the U.S. News & World Report called on 25 experts including nutritionists, dietary consultants, and physicians. They rated 40 of the most popular diets in the U.S. for factors such as how easy a diet is to follow and how effectively it targets heart health. The diets are each ranked in nine categories based on the experts' feedback.

So which were the winners of best overall diet? The DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) tied for first place-a position it's held for eight years in a row. This year, DASH shared the top spot with the Mediterranean diet, followed by the flexitarian diet in third.

But, do you notice anything about these top three choices? Perhaps a commonality they share? All of these "diets" are really just balanced, healthy eating habits. There aren't any quick-fix solutions or restrictive diets here. In fact, these are almost anti-diet diets.

Plus, all three focus on eating for health benefits. Sure, they're conducive to weight loss, but the foundation of them is about much more than that. The Mediterranean diet focuses on healthy fats, seafood, and lots of veggies and fruit, and has long been praised for its ability to reduce your risk of cancer and heart disease without being overly restrictive. The DASH diet's main goal is to lower blood pressure and generally asks that you eat wholesome, nutritionally dense foods-again, sans extreme restrictions. And flexitarianism (being a flexible vegetarian) emphasizes mostly plant-based foods that will help lower your risk of high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and stroke, while still allowing you to score protein and nutrients from limited meat and fish. (More on that here: Why You Should Seriously Consider Following a Flexitarian Diet)

"These all point to a very similar concept, which is that vegetables and plant foods should play a starring role on the plate, with animal products being more like a side dish," says Bonnie Taub-Dix, R.D.N., author of Read It Before You Eat It.

Each diet's focus on eating a variety of macronutrients, as well as not being restrictive and therefore simple to adhere to, was reflected in their rankings in the other categories. The DASH diet and the Mediterranean diet both also ranked in the top three for the "Best Diets for Healthy Eating" and "Best Heart-Healthy Diets" categories. Conversely, none of the three broke the top 10 for fast weight loss-remember, these are healthy lifestyle habits, not a way to lose 10 pounds fast.

Despite countless trendy diets hitting the internet at all times, the annual report doesn't necessarily change drastically from year to year. Just the opposite, actually. Three of the top four diets in the report's first annual ranking in 2011 are also in the top four for 2018. This is the first year the DASH diet wasn't the solo overall winner, but its tie with the Mediterranean diet-a longtime favorite among health experts-was by no means an upset.

Another thing we're excited to see with this year's picks is the diets' accessibility and feasibility. "None of these diets require that you join a class or buy any special food in particular, and they could all fit into a diet with foods purchased at a supermarket anywhere on the globe," says Taub-Dix. The list also helps to redefine your associations with dieting, proving "the word 'diet' actually means 'way of life,'" she says. "It doesn't mean 'how much weight you lose.'"

So if you're looking for a diet to go all-in with, know that the DASH, Mediterranean, and flexitarian eating styles all get the stamp of approval. (Start with some of our favorite DASH foods, Mediterranean dishes, and flexitarian recipes.) Another great place to start? Our 30-Day Clean-ish Eating Challenge.

Comments (7)

Anonymous
January 21, 2019
hey this is an extreme rapid weight loss system that can help you lose up to 16 pounds of pure body fat in just 2 weeks! watch this video here: => the2weekdietnow.com
Anonymous
January 13, 2019
Doloremque placeat sequi cupiditate perspiciatis. 💖 Ever heard of the Keto diet? I started using the advice at WWW.KETOCOOKBOOK.ORG and lost 25 pounds of fat in a month! I’ve never lost weight so fast!! The Keto Diet really is amazing because it forces the body to always burn fat for energy — so you lose the fat and keep it off. If you want to lose some weight, I highly recommend using that website :) Check it out! Best of luck to you! 💖
Anonymous
July 27, 2018
Every woman who wants to lose weight should watch THIS now: https://bit.ly/2mLKSZ1
Anonymous
July 11, 2018
My life is totally transformed after I followed this diet. https://bit.ly/2safCoC Have Lost 27 pounds in last 1 month and feeling great about myself.
Anonymous
July 3, 2018
Did you know there’s a “deep detox” you can do first thing in the morning to burn more fat? And the good news is It only takes 13-seconds! Here it is: https://bit.ly/2x45lQy
Anonymous
May 19, 2018
Few years before losing weight is a dream for me, after I started using Brian’s weight loss product reducing weight is not a difficult for me, I understand one thing if we follow the right procedure and diet, reducing weight is not a difficult for anyone. I had followed all the step by step instruction only couple of weeks and I reduce more than 16 kg in few weeks without any hard exercise or medicine. There are thousands of people struggling to lose weight but they don’t know the right procedure to do it, you can try the same method which I used to keep the body healthy , stylish and fit, Watch the video here: http://weightlossin3weeks.com/the-best-diet
Anonymous
March 12, 2018
Like Tea? If you believe himself Click below link:-http://bit.ly/2Gfe833