U.S. News & World Report Reveals Best and Worst Diets for 2023
It’s that time of the year again, January, known as diet season, and the latest rankings are in: U.S. News & World Report has just unveiled its top diets for 2023. So, who clinched the title? (Drumroll, please.) Out of a field of 24 diets, the Mediterranean diet has seized the crown for the sixth consecutive year. In contrast, other trendy diets like the ketogenic diet (“keto”) and Atkins have found themselves near the bottom of the Best Diets Overall list, ranking at 20th and 21st place, respectively.
2023 vs. 2022: A Look at the Best Diets List
As in prior years, the Mediterranean diet has outperformed the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet on the overall list in 2023. (Interestingly, in 2018, these two diets shared the top position.) Why did nutritionists, dietary consultants, and physicians bestow the highest honors upon the Mediterranean diet? It boasts an impressive score of 4.6 out of 5 for its health benefits. Furthermore, the Mediterranean diet has clinched the top spot in other categories, including Best Diets for Healthy Eating, Best Plant-Based Diets, Best Family-Friendly Diets (tied), and Best Diets for Bone & Joint Health (tied).
The Mediterranean diet places emphasis on whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, olive oil, and incorporates some lean meat and fish. Similarly, the DASH diet, ranking second, is a regimen engineered to reduce high blood pressure, incorporating vegetables, fruits, low-fat dairy, whole grains, lean meats, and nuts. It diligently adheres to sodium guidelines to mitigate hypertension (high blood pressure), yet individuals with normal blood pressure can still reap the rewards of this dietary pattern.
DASH shares its second-place position with the flexitarian diet, another plant-based eating plan often referred to as “semi-vegetarian.” Regardless of the diet you opt for, one thing is clear: prioritizing plant-based foods is a boon for your health. According to a study published in the May 2017 Journal of Geriatric Cardiology, a plant-based diet is associated with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease. A more recent study, in the August 2019 Journal of the American Heart Association, concluded that adherents of plant-based diets had up to a 25 percent lower risk of death from all causes compared to those who did not follow such an eating pattern.
|Introduction||Overview of the importance of diet and nutrition in achieving total body wellness.|
|The Best Diets of 2023||Highlights the top-ranked diets for 2023, with a focus on the Mediterranean and DASH diets.|
|How Diets Compare (2023 vs. 2022)||A comparison of the 2023 diet rankings with those from the previous year, showcasing trends and changes.|
|Health Benefits of the Mediterranean Diet||Details the health benefits and key components of the Mediterranean diet.|
|The DASH Diet||An overview of the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet and its focus on lowering blood pressure.|
|The Flexitarian Diet||Explains the concept of the flexitarian diet, a semi-vegetarian approach to eating.|
|Benefits of Plant-Based Diets||Discusses the advantages of plant-based diets for health, including studies supporting their benefits.|
|Stable Rankings in 2022||Explores the consistency in diet rankings from 2022 to 2023 and expert opinions on top-rated diets.|
|New Diet Categories||Introduces new diet categories for 2023: Family-Friendly Diets and Diets for Bone & Joint Health.|
|Focus on Bone and Joint Health||Details the importance of diet in maintaining healthy bones and joints, emphasizing key nutrients.|
|Expert Opinions||Features insights from nutrition experts and their perspectives on the listed diets.|
|Best Diets for Weight Loss||Highlights diets recommended for weight loss, including WW (formerly Weight Watchers) and DASH.|
|Consideration for Trending Diets||Addresses the inclusion of trending diets in the rankings and their suitability for long-term health.|
Stability in the Rankings: Top Diets Hold Firm in 2022
In 2022, the overall rankings exhibited little change. The top three diets have retained their positions. “Yet again i’m not the slightest bit astounded to see the Mediterranean eating routine top the rundown of best weight control plans,” says Kelly Kennedy, RDN, the staff nutritionist at Ordinary Wellbeing. Furthermore, there’s a great deal of logical examination to back these advantages, not at all like with a significant number of the trend diets existing apart from everything else.”
Kennedy appreciates that the Mediterranean diet underscores the importance of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, without eliminating entire food groups or demonizing specific foods.
New Categories Introduced by U.S. News: Family-Friendly and Bone & Joint Health Diets
This year, U.S. News introduced two new categories: Best Family-Friendly Diets and Best Diets for Bone & Joint Health. Gretel Schueller, the managing editor of health at U.S. News and World Report, makes sense of that “The pandemic made it particularly clear the way in which significant it is for individuals to have the option to plan feasts at home and partake in those dinners along with their friends and family.” She brings up that the expression “family-accommodating” envelops feasts imparted to companions and nonrelatives, obliging a scope of social, strict, dietary inclinations, and nourishing needs.
Regarding bone and joint health, a new category was warranted as diet significantly influences the health of your bones and joints. Moreover, calcium and vitamin D have been identified as dietary components of public health concern in the latest U.S. Dietary Guidelines. Many individuals fall short in these essential nutrients, vital for good bone health. Schueller states that a diet ranked as ‘good for bone and joint health’ will offer adequate calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin K, while promoting physical activity.
Kennedy welcomes both new categories, particularly Family-Friendly Diets, as she frequently encounters families struggling to prepare multiple meals to cater to individual needs and diets.She comments, “It’s extraordinary that there is currently a rundown to assist with peopling select an arrangement that is solid and sensible, for themselves as well as for their whole family.”
Mediterranean, DASH, and Flexitarian Diets: Top Diets of 2023
All three diets come highly recommended by doctors due to their well-established health benefits. Erin Palinski-Wade, RD, CDCES, author of “Belly Fat Diet for Dummies,” highlights that “The Mediterranean eating plan doesn’t have a set calorie range or portion guidelines, which is why it can fit almost anyone’s needs. Eating in this manner might advance weight reduction, yet the primary objective of this eating style is the medical advantages it can offer, like enhancements in cardiovascular wellbeing.”
For example, research has shown that the Mediterranean diet surpassed low-fat diets in terms of weight loss after one year and improved indicators of heart health. Moreover, transitioning from an omnivore diet to a plant-based one has helped many individuals shed pounds, possibly due to increased fiber intake and reduced animal protein consumption, among other factors.
In a 2018 study published in JAMA Network Open, nearly 26,000 women who closely adhered to the Mediterranean diet had up to a 28 percent lower risk of heart disease compared to those who did not follow the diet. risk may be attributed to the diet’s ability to lower inflammation, enhance insulin function, and reduce body mass index (BMI). Experts have described the evidence supporting the Mediterranean diet’s ability to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke as “large, strong, and consistent.”