Sixth year in a row, the Mediterranean diet tops the list of the best diets.

Mediterranean Diet

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Now that 2023 has arrived, millions of Americans probably promise that this will be the year they finally lose those extra pounds for good. After all, according to surveys of New Year’s resolutions, weight loss consistently ranks among the top goals.

Guidance to choose the best strategy is available just in time. The annual lists of the top diet programmes, published by U.S. News & World Report, are available today.

The Mediterranean diet, which places a strong emphasis on fruits, vegetables, olive oil, and fish, once again took first place as the best diet overall. That triumph has occurred six years in a row. But a lot of other diets also received high marks.

This year, U.S. News ranked 24 diets in a variety of categories with the assistance of more than 30 nutritionists, physicians, and epidemiologists to help people find a plan that fits their needs, whether it’s locating the best weight loss diet, the simplest one to follow, or plans for other goals, like managing diabetes or heart disease. Best Diets for Bone & Joint Health and Best Family-Friendly Diets were added as two new categories.

The publication previously ranked 40 diets. A diet’s profile with all of its information is still available on the site even if it is no longer ranked.

Gretel Schueller, managing editor of health for U.S. News, says, “Each year we ask ourselves what we can do better or differently next time.” This year, when the publication received feedback from its experts, they were asked to take many other factors into account, as well as the sustainability of diets and whether they can meet the needs of a busy family.

The report from this year rates plans in 11 categories.
The category winners and winners:

Top Diets Overall
  • The Mediterranean diet comes in first place. Two other things tied for second place after the Mediterranean diet:
  • Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and low-fat dairy in its fight against high blood pressure.
  • Flexitarian eating habits, which prioritize fruits, vegetables, and other nutritious foods while occasionally allowing meat.
Top Diets for Losing Weight
  • Weight Watchers, formerly known as WW, won first place. The program places an emphasis on healthier eating and regular exercise in addition to weight loss. The Points program, which gives foods specific point values along with a daily budget, is now more individualized.
  • DASH came in second.
  • The TLC diet and the Mayo Clinic diet tied for third place. The Mayo Clinic Diet emphasizes whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. It aids people in bettering their eating practices. The therapeutic lifestyle changes diet, or TLC diet, emphasizes fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and lowering cholesterol levels.
Best Diets for Rapid Weight Loss

  • The ketogenic diet came in first. It is a high-fat, low-carb diet that attempts to shed pounds by encouraging the burning of fat. The second place was shared by four additional individuals.
  • Robert Atkins, a cardiologist, developed the Atkins diet, which suggests gradually increasing carbohydrate intake until the desired weight loss is attained.
  • A commercial program called Nutrisystem emphasizes high-protein, lower-glycemic foods to stabilize blood sugar levels. It also offers prepackaged meals.
  • Fortified meal replacements are part of the low-carb, low-calorie Optavia diet plan.
    Shakes, smoothies, and meal bars are used in the SlimFast Diet to replace two of the three meals per day.
Best Diets for Healthy Eating

  • Mediterranean
  • DASH
  • Flexitarian

Best Heart-Healthy Diets

  • DASH
  • Mediterranean
  • Flexitarian and Ornish tied for third. The Ornish Diet focuses on plant-based and whole foods and limiting animal products. It recommends daily exercise and stress reduction.

Best Diets for Diabetes

  • DASH
  • Mediterranean
  • Flexitarian

Best Diets for Bone and Joint Health

DASH and Mediterranean are in a first-place tie, followed by the flexitarian diet.Best Family-Friendly Diets

This category has a three-way tie: the flexitarian, Mediterranean, and TLC diets. 

Best Plant-Based Diets

The Mediterranean was first, then flexitarian and the MIND diet. The MIND diet combines the DASH and Mediterranean diets and focuses on “brain-healthy” foods.

Easiest Diets to Follow

Flexitarian and TLC tied for first, followed by a tie between DASH and Mediterranean.

Best Diet Programs (formerly called commercial plans)

  • WW
  • There was a tie for second place between Jenny Craig and Noom, the latter of which focuses on low-calorie foods, with personalized calorie ranges and coaching to help meet goals.
MethodologyA variety of factors were considered, such as whether a diet includes all food groups, how easy it is to follow, whether it can be customized to meet cultural and personal preferences, and if it has a realistic timeline for weight loss. 

Response from Diet Plans

Representatives from two plans that received mixed reviews in the rankings responded. Jenny Craig was ranked second for best diet program but much lower for family-friendly, landing at 22nd place of 24.  Mandy Dowson, CEO of Jenny Craig, explains that “our program is designed to address the needs of the individual through personalized experiences.” Numerous families take part in our program together, but they are still assessed separately to establish suitable individual goals.

According to her, it’s high ranking as the best diet program is a result of comments from pleased members. The new Jenny Fresh program, a line of entrees made fresh and delivered to customers’ doors, will be among the advancements. Although Atkins placed close to the bottom for best overall, best weight loss, diabetes, healthy eating, and heart health, it took second place for best fast weight loss. Colette Heimowitz, vice president of nutrition and education for Simply Good Foods, the company that creates Atkins’ food items, responds that low-carb eating strategies are an effective choice for anyone in the modern world.The effectiveness and safety of low-carb eating are demonstrated by more than 130 independent, peer-reviewed published studies, according to the author. The research has been carried out for many years and counting.

Expert viewpoint

The study was examined for WebMD by Samantha Cassetty, a registered dietitian, nutritionist, and wellness specialist in New York City and the author of Sugar Shock. She didn’t take part in the rankings.

The best diet overall is also the best for a variety of conditions, she believes this proves. She cites the Mediterranean as an example, which came in first overall and also ranked highly for diabetes, heart health, and bone and joint health.

Customers who are trying to lose weight should beware if they notice rapid weight loss. You must be able to maintain a healthy diet to lose weight, the expert advises.

She dislikes diet plans that include prepackaged meals. “It eliminates the guesswork, but the portion sizes are frequently insufficient. You aren’t taught how to handle some of the difficulties [like determining a ‘ideal’ portion size].”

Use of the Report

“Recognize that no diet fits everyone,” said Schueller. She advises considering the long term when deciding which plan to select.

Whatever we decide must be effective in the long run, she asserts.

When choosing a diet, consumers should think about costs, meal preparation time, and lifestyle compatibility.

The best diet, in her opinion, “teaches you smart food preparation and how to make healthy choices, allows the flexibility to be social and eat with groups, whether family or friends,” she claims.

U.S. News advises seeking advice from a medical professional before deciding on a diet to follow.

For this meal plan, a calculator is not necessary. You swap out unhealthy fats for heart-healthy ones rather than adding up the numbers. Choose olive oil over butter. Try switching from red meat to poultry or fish. Eat fresh fruit instead of sweet, fancy desserts.

Consume a lot of flavorful vegetables and beans. Nuts are good, but limit your intake to a handful daily. You can consume wine and whole-grain bread, but only in moderation.

2. The Food Is Authentically Fresh

You won’t need to visit the frozen food section or a drive-through for fast food. The emphasis is on delicious, straightforward seasonal cuisine. Combine spinach, cucumbers, and tomatoes to make a delicious salad.

Use a Quick Light Greek Salad recipe to incorporate traditional Greek ingredients like feta cheese and black olives. You can also make a batch of grilled tomato gazpacho that is bursting with color and vegetables.

3. You May Consume Bread.

A whole-grain loaf is what you should seek out. It is generally healthier than products made with white flour because it contains more protein and minerals. Try dipping whole-grain pita bread in tahini, hummus, or olive oil (a protein-rich paste made from ground sesame seeds).

4. It’s Okay to Be Fat

Just keep an eye out for the good ones. Olive oil, nuts, and olives all contain it. These fats, as opposed to the trans and saturated fats hidden in processed foods, add flavor and work to prevent diseases like cancer and diabetes. Standard basil pesto is a tasty way to get some into your diet.

5. There Is A Huge Menu

There is more to it than just Italian and Greek food. Look for recipes from countries like Spain, Turkey, Morocco, and others. Pick foods that are straightforward: lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, olive oil, and whole grains, with little red meat and whole-fat dairy. The nutritious Mediterranean diet is represented by this Moroccan dish made with chickpeas, okra, and spices.

6. The Spices Taste Great

You won’t need to use the salt shaker because the flavors of the bay leaves, cilantro, coriander, rosemary, garlic, pepper, and cinnamon are so flavorful. Some are also good for your health. For instance, the spices coriander and rosemary contain nutrients and antioxidants that fight disease. With a lemony kick, this recipe for Greek-Style Mushrooms incorporates cilantro and coriander.

7. It’s Easy to Make

Mezzes, are typically small, easily assemblable plates for Greek meals. You could set out plates of cheese, olives, and nuts for your own serve-it-cold casual meal. Check out this recipe for red bell pepper and basil quinoa as well. It contains heart-healthy ingredients like beans, whole grains, olive oil, and spices.

8. You May Drink Wine 

In many Mediterranean nations, where meals are frequently leisurely and social, drinking wine with meals is customary. According to some studies, up to one glass of alcohol per day for women and two for men may be beneficial for some people’s hearts. Find out if it’s a good idea for you by speaking with your doctor.

9. You Can Lose Weight

If you consume nuts, cheese, and oils, you might believe it would take a miracle for you to lose weight. However, the slower eating pace and the Mediterranean staples allow you to feel satisfied and full. And that aids in diet adherence. The lifestyle should also include regular exercise.

10. Your Heart Will Appreciate It

Almost all of the foods in this diet are heart-healthy. Nuts and olive oil both lower “bad” cholesterol. Beans, fruits, and vegetables all help to keep arteries clear. Fish lowers blood pressure and triglycerides. Even one glass of wine per day might be beneficial for your heart! Try this Mediterranean-inspired recipe for Grilled Whole Trout With Lemon-Tarragon if you’ve never developed a love for fish.

11. You’ll be more alert for longer

Your brain benefits from the same goodness that shields your heart. You don’t consume processed foods and unhealthy fats, which can aggravate inflammation. Instead, this eating pattern is a brain-friendly option thanks to foods high in antioxidants.