Rx Nutrition Resource Center

Rx Nutrition Resource Center

Source: Press Release

Disclosures: Stanford was one of the panelists reviewing diets on behalf of U.S. News & World Report.
January 04, 2022
2 min read
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Mediterranean named best overall diet for fifth consecutive year

Source: Press Release

Disclosures: Stanford was one of the panelists reviewing diets on behalf of U.S. News & World Report.
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The Mediterranean diet has been named the best overall diet for the fifth year in a row by the editors of U.S. News & World Report.

The Mediterranean diet is one of the most studied diets, and one of the few diets — most of which involve higher fat or lower carbohydrate intake — that demonstrates CVD benefits, according to a U.S. News & World Report press release.

Mediterranean Diet
The Mediterranean diet has won U.S. News & World Report’s top diet ranking for the fifth year in a row.
Photo source: Adobe stock

The Mediterranean diet also ranked first in the categories of best diets for healthy eating, easiest diets to follow, best diets for diabetes and best plant-based diets; it tied with best heart-healthy diets for the No. 1 spot.

A panel of 27 experts rated 40 diets in seven categories, including ease of following the plan, its ability to produce short- and long-term weight loss, “nutritional completeness,” safety and potential for preventing diabetes and CVD. The scores enabled the U.S. News & World Report health team to rate diets from one to five (five being the highest score). The cost of a plan or amount of exercise the plan requires were not part of the decision-making process, according to the press release.

“The Mediterranean diet has a lot of what we look for in healthy eating, like lean proteins, whole grains and fruits and vegetables. Overall, the reason why it ends up coming out on top is because it is really not a diet. It is more a lifestyle of eating,” said Fatima Cody Stanford, MD, MPH, MPA, MBA, FAAP, FACP, FAHA, FAMWA, FTOS, a Healio Primary Care Peer Perspective Board Member and one of the U.S. News & World Report panelists.

There are some caveats to the Mediterranean diet, Stanford told Healio.

“The diet is Eurocentric. The constant emphasis on this diet supports the notion that diets that are derived elsewhere are inferior,” she said. “This diet may also be prohibitive, particularly for those with lower socioeconomic status.”

Fatima Cody Stanford

Stanford, who is also a clinician at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, noted that she did not rank the Atkins, HMR or OPTAVIA diets very high “since they have a potential for containing highly processed foods and are not as sustainable as the Mediterranean, Dash or Flexitarian.”

The top eating plans in each of U.S. News & World Report’s 2022 rankings are:

Best overall diets

1. Mediterranean diet

2. DASH diet (tied)

2. Flexitarian diet (tied)

Best diet plans

1. Mayo Clinic diet (tied)

1. WW, also known as Weight Watchers (tied)

3. Jenny Craig

Best weight-loss diets

1. Flexitarian diet (tied)

1. Volumentrics (tied)

1. WW (tied)

Best fast weight-loss diets

1. Atkins

2. HMR diet (tied)

2. OPTAVIA diet (tied)

Best diets for healthy eating

1. Mediterranean diet

2. DASH diet (tied)

2. Flexitarian diet (tied)

Easiest diets to follow

1. Mediterranean diet

2. Flexitarian diet

3. MIND diet (tied)

3. Fertility diet (tied)

3. WW (tied)

Best diets for diabetes

1. Mediterranean diet

2. Flexitarian diet (tied)

2. vegan diet (tied)

Best heart-healthy diets

1. Mediterranean diet (tied)

1. Ornish diet (tied)

3. DASH diet

Best plant-based diets

1. Mediterranean diet

2. Flexitarian diet

3. vegetarian diet

For the first time, the complete list of rankings also includes intermittent fasting and the Sirtfood diet “to account for the ever-evolving nature of diet and nutrition,” according to the release.

References

2022 Best Diets Methodology. https://health.usnews.com/wellness/food/articles/how-us-news-ranks-best-diets. Published Jan. 4, 2022. Accessed Jan. 4, 2022.

U.S. News Reveals Best Diet Rankings for 2022. https://health.usnews.com/best-diet. Published Jan. 4, 2022. Accessed Jan. 4, 2022.

Which experts reviewed this year’s diets? https://health.usnews.com/best-diet/experts. Published Jan. 4, 2022. Accessed Jan. 4, 2022.