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U.S News & World Report: Best diets for 2015

If healthier living and weight-loss are on your resolution list this January, then you will want to check out U.S. News World Report’s ranking of the best diets for 2015. The folks at U.S. News analyzed 41 eating plans and ranked 35 of them on criteria like heart healthiness and whether they can help you lose weight.

Using research from medical journals and government reports in conjunction with the input of a panel of nationally-recognized experts in diet, nutrition, obesity, food psychology, diabetes and heart disease, each of the 35 diets selected were rated on seven categories, including how easy it is to follow, its safety, nutritional completeness and its ability to produce short-term and long-term weight loss.

Here are some of their findings:

Best diets overall

1. DASH Diet – Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension was developed specifically to fight high blood pressure, but the panel of experts believes that its nutritional completeness and ability to improve heart health makes it a good all-purpose diet.

2. TLC Diet – Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes was created by the National Institutes of Health. Ranked high for its ability to improve cardiovascular health, one of the concerns raised was that this diet does not provide a lot hand holding, which might not be effective for everyone.

Tied for 3rd were the Mayo Clinic Diet, Mediterranean Diet and Weight Watchers.

Best weight-loss diets

1. Weight Watchers – This popular commercial diet is known for its strong community of support as well as its flexible food plan that allows for small indulgences. 

2. HMR Diet – This diet focuses on meal replacements like low-calorie shakes, meals, and nutrition bars. Exercise and healthy lifestyle choices are also emphasized. HMR has two phases. The first one is the Quick Start Phase which focuses on helping you start shedding pounds quickly and the second phase is more about establishing long term lifestyle choices.

Best heart-healthy diets

1. Ornish Diet– Created by Dean Ornish, professor of medicine at University of California, San Francisco and founder of the Preventive Medicine Research Institute in Sausalito, this diet offers a comprehensive guide for nutrition, exercise, stress management and emotional support. Two drawbacks of this diet could be that it can get expensive to maintain and sticking with it long-term maybe difficult.

2. TLC Diet

Easiest diets to follow

1. Weight Watchers

2. Jenny Craig Diet – Another popular commercial diet, Jenny Craig offers personal consultants to help you lose weight through prepackaged meals, recipes, an exercise plan and weekly one-on-one counseling session. One concern for this diet is that it can get pricey with a $99 enrollment fee and at least $19 a month for unlimited consultation.

Best plant-based diets

1. Mediterranean Diet – This diet is chock full of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, olive oil and fish. Not enough data has been collected to prove that it is effective for weight-loss however.

2. Flexitarian Diet – Registered dietitian Dawn Jackson Blatner came up with the term “flexitarian” meaning that you follow a mostly vegetarian lifestyle, but once in awhile you treat yourself to a burger or steak.

For full ranking visit U.S. News World Report.


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