Best diets overall
Overall, the most endorsed diets were the government-supported Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet, the Mediterranean diet, the Flexitarian diet, and the Weight Watchers diet.
So just what do those diets consist of? The DASH diet is a fairly common sense one—it involved a diet high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and low-fat dairy. Things to keep in check? Salt, foods high in saturated fats, artificially sweetened or high-sugar content food and drinks.
The Mediterranean diet mimics the eating habits of that region, with an emphasis on fish and seafood, leafy greens, nuts and legumes, and low in red meat, carbs like sugar, and saturated fat. Finally, the Weight Watchers diet is the highest-ranking commercial diet on the list, outscoring competitors like Jenny Craig and Flat Belly; the system assigns point values to food with the goal of promoting weight loss (the Flexitarian Diet is another fruit, vegetable, and whole grain-oriented diet that also relies on plant-based proteins rather than meat).
Best diets for heart disease and diabetes
Several of these weight loss diets are also good for your cardiovascular health. But what if you’re diabetic or at risk of developing diabetes?
According to experts, the Mediterranean and DASH diets are the best for preventing or controlling diabetes. Flexitarian, the Mayo Clinic diet, and vegan diet also rank highly on that list. In general, the Mediterranean diet comes with a slew of endorsements for its potential to lead to better heart health and possibly reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.