U.S. News & World Report has named the Mediterranean diet the best overall diet for 2019. Not only did the diet grab the top spot, it also ranked number one in the following categories: best diet for healthy living, best diabetes diet, best heart-healthy diet, best plant-based diet and easiest diet to follow.
Now in its ninth year, the report ranked 41 diets on everything from weight loss, managing diabetes and heart disease, nutritional completeness, were safe and easy to follow.
Named for the countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea whose residents live longer and are healthier than most Americans, the diet is high in fruits and vegetables, nuts and legumes, seafood and olive oil, but low in red meat, sugar and saturated fat.
“It’s really healthy, balanced, (and) considered nutritionally complete,” Angela Haupt, assistant managing editor of health at U.S. News & World Report told USA Today. Haupt credited the diet plan with encouraging a longer, healthier lifestyle.
Coming in second overall is the DASH diet, which tied for number one last year with the Mediterranean diet. DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) was originally created to help patients lower blood pressure without medication. To that end, it encourages a diet heavy on fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean meats and low-fat dairy, and less on processed sugars, red meat and other saturated fats.
Other diets ranking well included the Flexitarian (mostly vegetarian, to lower disease risk) and Weight Watchers (for short- and long-term weight loss).
Hitting the bottom of the rankings were the Dukan, Body Reset, Whole30, Keto and Atkins diets, which experts faulted for both their restrictive nature, difficulty to follow, and lack of studies to back up claims.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated since it was originally published in January 2015.
Michael d’Estries ( @michaeldestries ) covers science, technology, art, and the beautiful, unusual corners of our incredible world.