The Best Diet Plans from U.S. News Experts

by HealthfulMD

U.S. News released their list of top diet plans that include the best overall diet plans, best weight loss diets, best diabetes diets, best heart-healthy and best commercial diets.

Picking the Best Diet Plan

From Filax
White Dinner Plate
White Dinner Plate

Ranking the Best Diet Plans

Over the course of six months a U.S. News team of 22 experts researched and ranked diet plans to come up with a list of the best diet plans in different categories.

The expert panel was comprised of experts in diet and nutrition and specialists in diabetes and heart disease. In addition to researching the diet plans, the experts also reviewed medical journals, government reports and other sources to come up with their conclusions about the best diets. Their findings were released in early June 2011.

Let's take a look at the results and see if you and I agree with the experts.

Research Behind the Diet Plan List

The reviewers and research methods behind the review of the diet plans looks to be pretty sound.

The 22 member independent expert panel was selected from recognized experts in diet and nutrition. Also included on the panel were specialists in diabetes and heart disease.

This U.S. News team spent six months researching and reviewing a total of 20 diets. For each diet plan a profile was drawn up that included:

  • Explanations how the diet works.
  • Whether claims add up or fall short of expectations.
  • Risks of the diet plan.
  • Ease or difficult of living on the diet plan.

After researching and reviewing diet plans the experts rated each diet on a scale of 1 to 5 in seven different categories. The categories rated included:

  • Short-term weight loss
  • Long-term weight loss
  • Ease of following the diet
  • Nutritional completeness
  • Safety
  • Ability to prevent or manage diabetes
  • Ability to prevent or manage heart disease.

The experts were also asked to weigh in on aspects of each diet that they particularly liked or disliked and consider what they thought those considering starting the diet should know.

Criteria for Top Rated Diet Plans

In order to be considered a top-rated diet plan, the expert panel decided that the top-rated diet had to be:

Top Rated Diet Plan

  • Easy to follow
  • Nutritious
  • Safe
  • Effective for weight loss
  • Effective against diabetes
  • Effective against heart disease. 

The results from all 22 experts for diet plans were compiled to create the Best Diet Plans in each of the different categories.

 

Image by Kirsti A. Dyer

Diet Plans Reviewed

If I have one concern about the study it is that the review team only reviewed twenty diet plans. 

The diet plans reviewed by name (alphabetically) include:

Atkins, DASH Diet, Eco-Atkins, Glycemic Index Diet, Jenny Craig, Mayo Clinic Diet, Medifast, Mediterranean Diet, Nutrisystem, Ornish Diet, Paleo Diet, Raw Food Diet, Slim-Fast, South Beach Diet, TLC Diet, Vegan Diet, Vegetarian Diet, Volumetrics, Weight Watchers and the Zone Diet.

Many of the diet plans reviewed are the among the most popular plans and the ones that the public has generally heard about. They do have plans to review more studies noting:

"We also couldn't cover every diet that has a flock of followers, but we'll add more.

We also plan to be able to build in enhanced freedom to zero in more precisely, plugging in your detailed preferences and requirements, to find the diets that fit you best.

That will be Best Diets 2.0."

More from U.S. News

U.S. News Ranks 'Best Diets'
U.S. News today released its first-ever Best Diets rankings—an evaluation of 20 eating plans that have been expert-rated in seven categories, including short-term weight loss, long-term weight loss, easiness to follow, safety, and nutritional completeness.

Best Diets from U.S. News
The overall list of all of the best diets determined by U.S. News.

Best Diets Methodology: How We Rated Them
Diets come and go, teasing and tempting with visions of that new, hot, slimmed-down body sculpted in a flash from the old, formerly pudgy and mirror-averse You. Eat what you want! Pounds melt away! The reality, as legions of frustrated dieters can affirm, is that dieting is hard and that most diets don't work.

Diet Plan Index
List of all 20 of the diet plans reviewed from Atkins to the Zone.

Have you tried any of these diet plans?

  Display results
Thank you for voting.

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DASH takes top honors in U.S. News diet ranking
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Weight Watchers, DASH win latest round of diet wars
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Ranked: The Best and Worst Diets
Interestingly, U.S. News and World Report assembled an independent panel of 22 recognized experts in heart disease, diabetes, diet and exercise to review 20 diets.

Study suggests DASH diet may prevent teen obesity
A new research finding could help parents and public health specialists deal with one of the more troubling conundrums of the new millennium: how to keep teens from getting fat.

Heart-Healthy DASH Diet May Help Teen Girls Stay Slim
An eating plan originally touted to reduce high blood pressure in adults has been found to keep adolescent girls trimmer between the ages of 9 and 19.

Top Five Diets Overall

Best Overall Diet Plans

In looking at the overall best diet plans the experts chose the following: 

Best Diet Plan1. DASH Diet

2. TIE - Mediterranean Diet, Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes (TLC) Diet and Weight Watchers Diet

5. TIE - Mayo Clinic Diet and Volumetrics

The DASH Diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) took the top spot. The experts chose a total of six diet plans.

Note: There were several ties.

Image by Kirsti A. Dyer

The Best Overall Diets

View the Complete List

Best Diets Overall - Diets ranked by across-the-board effectiveness.
U.S. News evaluated and ranked the 20 diets below with input from a panel of health experts. To be top-rated, a diet had to be relatively easy to follow, nutritious, safe, and effective for weight loss and against diabetes and heart disease.

Books on the Best Overall Diet Plans

The DASH Diet Action Plan: Based on t...
Amidon Press
$21.95  $1.99
The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Med...
Alpha
$19.95  $3.64
Weight Watchers New Complete Cookbook
Wiley
$29.95  $2.09
The Mayo Clinic Diet: Eat Well, Enjoy...
Good Books
$25.99  $3.33
The Volumetrics Eating Plan: Techniqu...
Harper Paperbacks
$15.95  $3.98

Kindle Versions of the Best Overall Diet Plans

The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Med...
Alpha
Only $18.95

More on the Best Overall Diet Plans

My Review of the Best Diet Plans
With the help of 22 experts the U.S. News Team determined that the top overall diet plans are DASH, Mediterranean, TLC, Weight Watchers, Mayo Clinic and Volumetric Diets.

Top Five Weight Loss Diets

Best Weight Loss Diet Plans

In looking at the best diet plans that resulted in weight loss the experts chose the following: 

Best Diet Award

1. Weight Watchers

2. TIE - Jenny Craig and Raw Food Diet

4. Volumetrics

5. TIE - Slim-Fast and Vegan Diet

Weight Watchers took top honors in the Best Weight Loss Diet Plan category. The experts chose a total of six diet plans.

Note: There were several ties.

Image by Kirsti A. Dyer

The Best Weight Loss Diets

View the Complete List

Best Weight-Loss Diets - Diets ranked by effectiveness for both quick and lasting weight loss.
A panel of experts examined the research supporting—or refuting—a diet's potential to bring both short- and long-term weight loss, assigning scores on a scale of 1 (ineffective) to 5 (extremely effective) in these two categories.

Top Five Diabetes Diets

Best Diabetes Diet Plans

In looking at the best diet plans that allowed people to manage their diabetes the experts chose the following: 

Best Diet Award1. DASH Diet

2. TIE - Mayo Clinic Diet, Ornish Diet and Vegan Diet

3. TIE - Mediterranean Diet, Vegitarian Diet and Volumetrics Diet

The DASH Diet again took the top spot for the Best Diabetes Diet Plan. The experts chose a total of seven diet plans.

Note: There were several ties.

Image by Kirsti A. Dyer

 

The Best Diabetes Diets

View the Complete List

Best Diabetes Diets - Diets that can prevent diabetes or help diabetics.
Diet is a crucial tool for diabetics to manage their diabetes. Dieting can also help people who are overweight prevent type 2 diabetes. The experts who rated the diets below considered how good each diet is for both prevention and treatment of diabetes.

Top Five Heart-Healthy Diets

Best Heart-Health Diet Plans

In looking at the best diet plans that allowed people to keep their hearts healthy by losing weight, lowering cholesterol, blood pressure or diabetes the experts chose the following: 

Best Diet Award1. Ornish Diet

2. TLC (Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes) Diet 

3. DASH Diet

4. Mediterranean Diet

5. Vegan Diet

The Ornish Diet is the top diet for the most heart-healthy diet.

There were no ties in the heart-healthy category.

Image by Kirsti A. Dyer

The Best Heart-Healthy Diets

View the Complete List

Best Heart-Healthy Diet - Diets that lower cholesterol, blood pressure, or triglycerides.
A heart-healthy diet is one that can help you lose weight or lower cholesterol, blood pressure, or triglycerides.

Top Five Commercial Diets

Best Commercial Diet Plans

In reviewing the best commercial diet plans the experts considered the ability of each diet to deliver weight loss, provide good nutrition and safety, and be relatively easy to follow. They chose:

Best Diet Award1. Weight Watchers Diet

2. Jenny Craig Diet

3. Slim-Fast Diet

4. Nutrisystem Diet

5. South Beach Diet

Weight Watchers was chosen as the best commercial diet plan.

There were no ties in the commercial diets category.

Image by Kirsti A. Dyer

The Best Commercial Diets

View the Complete List

Best Commercial Diet Plans - Brand-name diets ranked by overall effectiveness.
Some such commercial diet plans are better than others, according to experts who rated the diets below for U.S. News. The experts considered each diet's ability to deliver weight loss, provide good nutrition and safety, and be relatively easy to follow.

News on the Top Diet Plans

E! OnlineEverything We Know About Blake Lively's Fitness Plans to "Fit Into" Her JeansE! Online... she wrote. "This is not an ad. This is me getting it ...
The AdvocateSlim Nation expands to StamfordThe Advocate“There's no such thing as a one-size-fits-all diet,” Nevins said. “We always say that generic diets give you gen...
New York MagazineKristen Doute on Slut-Shaming, Adderall, and Doing Vanderpump Rules ForeverNew York MagazineDoute, wearing a sequined blazer, a tank top, and a knot t...
13newsnow.comExclusive: Netflix tracks subscribers' binge breaks13newsnow.comWith 87 million subscribers in 190 territories, it has 30 series in production or developm...

Other Using the Plate Method as a Diet Technique

The USDA is replacing the Food Pyramid used for the last two decades as the food representation guide with an easier to understand plate designed to encourage healthy eating.
The plate method is an easier way than the old pyramid to teach children and adults, about what to eat and how much to eat. Using the plate method will help you eat healthier.
Updated: 06/10/2011, HealthfulMD
 
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Comment on the Top Diet Plans - Which do you think work?


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barbarab on 08/29/2011

wonderfully written!

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