The Mediterranean diet, for the third straight year, is the best overall diet in annual rankings by U.S. News & World Report.

The diet is top-heavy in vegetables, whole grains, legumes, fruits, beans an olive oil. No-nos on this diet include red meat, refined grains and added sugars.

The U.S. News panel of experts ranked 35 diet plans for the best-of-2020 rankings. Here are the winners in each category:

Best Overall

  1. The Mediterranean diet.
  2. Tie: Flexitarian (mostly plant-based), DASH (as in, Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, that prevents/controls high blood pressure through a diet loaded with fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy foods while minimizing saturated and total fat.
  3. WW (the former Weight Watchers) in fourth place.

Best Weight Loss Diets

  1. WW.
  2. Tie: Volumetrics (good nutrition, low-calorie, and exercise), vegan diet (no meat or dairy).
  3. Flexitarian.

Best Commercial Diets

  1.  WW.
  2. Jenny Craig.
  3. Nutritarian diet.

Best Fast Weight Loss Diets

  1. HMR (as in, Health Management Resources Program, which includes meal-replacement shakes, fruits and vegetables).
  2. Optavia (featuring “fueling,” multiple meals a day provided by the company).
  3. Tie: WW, Jenny Craig, Atkins (low-carb) and ketogenic (as in high-fat, low-carb “keto”).

Best Diets for Healthy Eating

  1. Tie: Mediterranean, DASH.
  2. Flexitarian.
  3. MIND diet (a combination of DASH and Mediterranean).

Easiest Diets to Follow

  1. Mediterranean
  2. Flexitarian
  3. Tie: WW, MIND.

Best Diets for Diabetes

  1. Mediterranean
  2. Tie: DASH, Flexitarian, Mayo Clinic Diet (fruits, vegetables and movement), vegan diet.

Best Heart-Healthy Diets

  1. Ornish Diet (vegetarian, low in simple carbohydrates).
  2. Mediterranean.
  3. DASH.

Best Plant-Based Diets

  1. Mediterranean.
  2. Flexitarian.
  3. Tie: Ornish, Nordic (fish, vegetables and whole grains).

Best Diets Overall

1. Mediterranean
3. Flexitarian
4. WWs
5. Mayo Clinic
6. Volumetrics
7. TLC
8. Nordic
9. Ornish
10. Vegetarian

Worst Diets Overall
1. Dukan
2. Keto
3. Whole30
4. Atkins
5. Raw Food
6. Paleo
7. The Fast
8. Optavia
9. HMR Program
10. Slimfast

Want even more information and personalized advice? Make an appointment with a registered dietitian. Call us at Hartford Hospital (860.972.2604) and we can tell you how. 

The best diets also reduce your risk of coronary heart disease. Find out more at the Heart & Vascular Institute here.

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