It’s a new year and that means weight loss and dieting are top of mind for many people. Whether you want to shed 10kgs, eat healthier, or curb your cravings for sugar and processed foods, you may want to consult the best diets for 2019 before you start.
While it’s no surprise that the Mediterranean diet and the DASH diet top the list for overall best diets, the MIND diet-an eating plan that combines both the DASH and Mediterranean diet to improve brain health and reduce mental decline-takes the fourth spot. With more people focusing on lowering their Alzheimer’s risk and enhancing their cognition, we foresee the MIND diet and others like it will become more popular in 2019.
This year, the report also expanded its rankings to include other diet trends, such as the Nordic diet and the ketogenic diet. The Nordic diet is plant-based eating plan that incorporates classic Scandinavian dishes and cooking techniques. The Nordic diet ranks number three in the best plant-based diets list, along with the Flexitarian diet and the Ornish diet.
Why the keto diet and Whole30 are among the worst diets
With recent research on the harmful effects of following a low-carb diet, the keto diet and Whole30 tie for the worst diet of 2019 on the list. Whole30 ranks low because it lacks scientific research to support the claim that eliminating major food groups, like dairy and whole grains, will help reduce inflammation. And the keto diet's low ranking comes as no surprise considering the number of high-profile experts who came out against it last year, including Jillian Michaels, and the diet's well-documented side effects, which can include fatigue, excess thirst, and constipation.
How diets get ranked
So what do these rankings mean exactly and how do diets get rated? U.S. News surveys an expert panel of top nutritionists, dietary consultants, and doctors who specialise in diabetes, heart health, and weight loss. Each panelist scores 41 diets in seven different categories, including whether the diet is easy to follow, the likelihood of losing a significant amount of weight in a short or long period of time, and how nutritionally sound the diet is. After reviewing the panelists’ feedback, every diet is given a rating between one and five stars-five being the best.