U.S. News Reveals Best Diets Rankings for 2018

Not all diets are created equal, and some are frankly straight-up B.S. (ahem, alkaline diet). Luckily, research can help us sort through the snake oil and pinpoint the eating plans that are actually healthy. So just in time for a fresh start in 2018, U.S. News and Reports released their best diets rankings, and some of the top- (and low-) scoring diets are pretty surprising.

Taking the number-one spot for best weight-loss diet (for the second year in a row!) is Weight Watchers. Yes, Oprah’s go-to weight loss plan might sound like it’s better suited for your mom, but its points-based system (empty-calorie foods equal more points, nutritious or low-cal foods are less) actually works. The expert team who ranked it says it’s smart and effective, and it also took the top spot among best fast weight-loss diets and best commercial diets. (Speed up your progress towards your weight-loss goals with Women’s Health’s Look Better Naked DVD.)

Next in line for best weight-loss diet was Volumetrics. It’s all about filling up on the good (and low-cal) stuff. For example, eating a big ol’ bowl of spinach or roasted carrots will set you back just as many calories as a handful of nuts, but will probably take you longer to eat and make you feel fuller.

After Volumetrics, the best weight loss diets were Jenny Craig, an eating plan with pre-packaged, portioned meals and healthy recipes, then a vegan diet, and a flexitarian diet. Those both essentially get weight-loss points because they involve eating less calorie-and-fat-dense meat and dairy and loading up on fruits, veggies and whole grains.

Related: This Is What 1,200 Calories Looks Like On A Vegan Diet

The report also ranked the best diets overall, in terms of long-term health and disease prevention. There was a tie for the number-one spot between the Mediterranean diet and the DASH diet. The Mediterranean diet emphasizes lean meats, veggies, and healthy fats, and lowers intake of red meat, sugar, and saturated fat. It gets high marks because the people who follow this diet live long lives with less disease than Americans. The DASH diet focuses on fruits, veggies, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and lean meats, and less fatty protein and dairy, salt and sugar. Spots three through five went to the flexitarian diet, Weight Watchers and the MIND diet, which focuses on eating foods that are good for your brain.

Surprisingly, the popular keto diet, which the report ranked for the first time this year, tied for last on the best overall diets list. The diet is all about loading up on fat and protein and nixing carbs, which makes it difficult to stick to. It could also be unhealthy for people with liver and kidney conditions, say experts, since it involves processing a lot of fat and protein.

The bottom line is this: Eating healthy is about finding a diet that isn’t too restrictive (so you can actually make it a habit), and eating more fruits, veggies, whole grains, and lean proteins, instead of sugary foods, salt, and unhealthy fats. However you do that is up to you—follow Oprah’s plan or DIY your own. If it makes you feel good, you’re doing it right.

via U.S. News Reveals Best Diets Rankings for 2018

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