In a new US ranking, the Mediterranean diet again ranks first, followed by the flexitarian diet and the dash diet. We show what’s behind it and which diets you should better keep your hands off.
New Year New luck! Especially at the beginning of the year, many people plan a healthier diet, and many also want to lose a few kilos. But which diet is best? The new ranking of “U.S. news
A panel of 33 health experts, including nutritionists and doctors specializing in diabetes or heart health, evaluated around 24 diets based on several criteria. A total of 11 diet rankings with different focuses were created (see below). “Best Diet Overall” considered short- and long-term weight loss success, ease of implementation, overall health and safety, and promotion of a healthy and sustainable lifestyle.
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The result: For the sixth time in a row, the so-called Mediterranean diet (also: Mediterranean diet) came in first. Although weight loss is not immediate, it is long-term and healthy. It is also easy to implement and has been classified by the experts as particularly family-friendly.
That’s behind the Mediterranean diet: Strictly speaking, the Mediterranean diet is not a diet, but a form of nutrition. It originated in the regions of the European Mediterranean coasts, for example in Italy, Greece or France. It can vary depending on the country, the experts write in their assessment. In particular, however, mainly plant-based foods such as fruit and vegetables are consumed, as well as whole grain products, beans, nuts, seafood, poultry and unsaturated fats, for example from virgin olive oil. The diet is also mostly seasonal and regional. Meat, sausage and dairy products, on the other hand, end up on the plate less frequently.
All of this is “incredibly good for general well-being,” the experts write. This is also confirmed by numerous studies that show that the Mediterranean diet reduces the risk of certain chronic diseases such as cardiovascular diseases and type 2 diabetes. The German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases found out in 2021 that a Mediterranean diet can also protect against memory loss and dementia.
This is how the Mediterranean diet works – what the experts recommend:
The so-called dash diet and the flexetarian diet follow in second place. Both are characterized by simple implementation and long-term customer success. While the flexetarian diet has a relatively open eating plan, the dash diet is characterized by stricter regulations. The aim here is to lower high blood pressure.
This is what the flexetarian diet is all about: The experts speak of a flexetarian diet, but this is more of a form of nutrition. Flexetarians (i.e. flexible vegetarians) eat mostly plant-based food, meat or fish from good husbandry is rarely on the plate.
Studies show that people who follow the flexetarian diet not only lose weight but also improve their overall health. The risk of heart disease, diabetes and cancer is reduced.
This is how the flexetarian diet works – what the experts recommend:
That’s behind the Dash diet: Dash stands for “Dietary approach to stopping (blood) high pressure”. The diet aims to lower blood pressure. Small positive side effect: the kilos tumble.
Basically, the Dash diet is similar to the Mediterranean diet pattern, but it gives more specific recommendations and advice on the actual amounts of each food.
This is how the Dash diet works – what the experts recommend:
Several studies support the success of the Dash diet. The diet drastically lowers blood pressure and reduces the risk of chronic diseases, cardiovascular problems and type 2 diabetes.
The currently popular keto diet ranked only 20th out of 24, followed by Atkins, SlimFast, and Optavia. These diets all focus on high-protein or high-fat foods with minimal carbohydrates. They received lower ratings because they are very restrictive and difficult to comply with, excluding entire food groups.
However, the keto diet ranks #1 for the “best diet for short-term weight loss.” Anyone who wants to lose weight for a wedding or event in under three months can do so with a keto diet. However, the diet is not recommended for the long term.
“The keto diet is not a good option for long-term weight maintenance and control,” nutritionist Lisa D. Ellis said in the statement. “Any diet that excludes certain food groups, such as carbohydrates, is not suitable for long-term weight loss.” Such an approach can lead to vitamin and nutrient deficiencies.
The raw food diet performed worst. The experts criticize that it is difficult to absorb all the important nutrients with this form of nutrition. It is also not easy to implement.
Here’s what’s behind the raw food diet: There are numerous variations of the raw food diet, but essentially it’s based on eating foods that haven’t been cooked, processed, microwaved, irradiated, genetically modified, or treated with pesticides or herbicides.
Here’s what the experts say: “A raw food diet can lead to temporary weight loss. However, most won’t be able to sustain it long-term because it’s too restrictive and can lead to serious nutritional deficiencies,” explains Dr. Vanita Rahman, internal medicine physician, in the explanatory statement. The safest and healthiest way to enjoy raw food is “as part of a whole, plant-based diet rich in raw fruits and vegetables, as well as cooked lentils, beans, grains and vegetables.”
In addition to the best diet in general, the jury created ten other diet ranking lists with a special focus. There is also a ranking for: