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Mediterranean Diet Ranked Best Overall for 2021 by U.S. News & World Report

The National Herald

A Greek fisherman displays his catch. (Photo by Elias Lefas)

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. News & World Report, the global authority in rankings and consumer advice, on January 4 released its annual assessment of the year’s Best Diets. The Best Diets for 2021 offers rankings, data and information on 39 diet plans to help people make diet-related New Year’s resolutions and achieve their health goals.

For the fourth consecutive year, the Mediterranean Diet ranks as the No. 1 Best Overall Diet. Research suggests the diet can help ward off chronic diseases and improve longevity. While the diet varies a bit among the countries considered Mediterranean, as U.S. News reported, “Greeks eat differently from Italians, who eat differently from the French and Spanish. But they share many of the same principles.”

The Mediterranean Diet also claimed the top spot in five other lists: Best Diets for Healthy Eating (tied for No. 1), Easiest Diets to Follow, Best Diets for Diabetes (tied for No. 1), Best Plant Based Diets and Best Heart-Healthy Diets (tied for No. 1).

Once again, the DASH Diet and Flexitarian Diet tied for the No. 2 spot on the Best Overall Diet ranking list. WW (Weight Watchers) remains the No. 4 Best Overall Diet, followed by the MIND Diet, Volumetrics, Mayo Clinic Diet and TLC Diet (all of which tied for No. 5).

“As people stay home more and move their bodies less – and grapple with the ‘quarantine 15’ – it’s important to maintain a healthy diet and stay active,” said Angela Haupt, managing editor of health at U.S. News. “What that looks like will be different for each person. The 2021 Best Diets rankings arm consumers with up-to-date information and data to help choose the right diet based on their unique health needs or weight goals.”

Four new diets were added to the rankings this year: Noom Diet, the AIP Diet, GAPS Diet and Modified Keto Diet. The Noom Diet, which focuses on behavior change, tied with Jenny Craig for the No. 3 spot on the Best Commercial Diet list and the No. 12 spot for Best Overall Diet. Experts lauded Noom’s built-in support network, both on an individual and group level, and its behavior-change approach to weight loss, which is key to any lifestyle change.

In addition to making a top-five appearance in Best Diets Overall, WW (Weight Watchers) continues to rank high across multiple categories, once again taking the No. 1 spot for Best Weight-Loss Diet (tied with the Flexitarian Diet) and Best Commercial Diet. U.S. News’ panel of experts agreed WW provides a customizable, community-driven, long-term strategy for weight loss.

“COVID has been our overriding health concern for this past year and potentially distracted us from others, but the reality is, diet is more important than ever,” said Dr. David Katz, President, True Health Initiative, Former Director, Yale Prevention Research Center and CEO, Diet ID. “Diet not only influences everything about our health over a lifetime, but it acutely affects the function of our immune system and exerts an outsized influence on risk factors related to COVID.”

To determine the rankings, U.S. News convened an expert panel of the country’s top nutritionists and specialists in diabetes, heart health and weight loss. Through an in-depth survey, 24 panelists scored 39 diets in seven areas, including ease of compliance, likelihood of losing significant weight in both the short and long term, and effectiveness against cardiovascular disease and diabetes. For further details on how the rankings were calculated, see the methodology. The rankings, paired with advice from a doctor or registered dietitian, can help Americans adopt a healthy lifestyle.

Alongside the 2021 Best Diets rankings, U.S. News offers extensive wellness content plus expert analysis tailored to each specific diet.

U.S. News 2021 Best Diets Rankings full lists are available online: https://health.usnews.com/best-diet.

Best Overall Diets

1. Mediterranean Diet

2. DASH Diet (tie)

2. Flexitarian Diet (tie)

Best Commercial Diets

1. WW (Weight Watchers)

2. Mayo Clinic Diet

3. Jenny Craig (tie)

3. Noom Diet (tie)

Best Weight-Loss Diets

1. Flexitarian Diet (tie)

1. WW (Weight Watchers) (tie)

3. Vegan Diet (tie)

3. Volumetrics (tie)

Best Fast Weight-Loss Diets

1. HMR Diet

2. Atkins (tie)

2. WW (Weight Watchers) (tie)

Best Diets for Healthy Eating

1. DASH Diet (tie)

1. Mediterranean Diet (tie)

3. Flexitarian Diet

Easiest Diets to Follow

1. Mediterranean Diet

2. WW (Weight Watchers)

3. Flexitarian Diet

Best Diets for Diabetes

1. Flexitarian Diet (tie)

1. Mediterranean Diet (tie)

3. DASH Diet (tie)

3. Mayo Clinic Diet (tie)

3. Vegan Diet (tie)

Best Heart Healthy Diets

1. DASH Diet (tie)

1. Mediterranean Diet (tie)

1. Ornish Diet (tie)

Best Plant Based Diets

1. Mediterranean Diet

2. Flexitarian Diet

3. Nordic Diet (tie)

3. Ornish Diet (tie)

3. Vegetarian Diet (tie)

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