This time of year is "begin the diet anew" time. So why not start fully informed? A number of diets made it onto the US News and World Reports best diet list. That's important, because you need a starting point to help you choose a diet - so having experts endorse a diet as "safe and effective" is important. But you need to examine your personality and your goals and also find a diet that "fits you." Some of the 22 experts on the panel, who ranked the following diets, looked at: ease to follow, cost and convenience, whether or not the diet specifically addressed a health concern like diabetes, heart disease and whether or not it simply offered healthier eating.
The DASH (Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension) Diet ranked #1, and if you haven't heard of it, this diet is often recommended to patients diagnosed with (or having a risk of developing) hypertension. Recently doctors and dieticians have begun to realize that it's a top notch diet for the average person who wants to lose weight and get healthier. It offers a wide range of foods and food group offerings with a clear outline, so that you can check off or plan a day's worth of eating with ease. Check out www.dashdiet.org for more information.
TLC Diet or Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes is a diet high in fiber, low in fat, created by the National Institute of Health. It supports heart health and has specific criteria for a day's worth of eating, including targeting 7% or less saturated fat/day, 200 mgs. or less of cholesterol/day, under 2400 mgs. of sodium/day, and then finding the right amount of calories for your weight loss needs or to maintain your weight. An RD or dietician can help you with that calculation.
Tied for 3rd place: The Mayo Clinic Diet, which is called a "weight loss diet for life," emphasizing low energy density foods like fruits and vegetables, which allow you to eat more while actually losing weight. The Mediterranean Diet, which includes whole grains, fruits and vegetables, healthy fats and red wine in moderation. Weight Watchers which offers a strong support model along with principles like portion control, heavy consumption of produce, including low fat dairy products.
Diets on the lower end that did not receive favorable results were either too hard to follow because of numerous rules or lack of flexibility, diets considered trendy because celebs follow it but lacking scientific data or suggesting dangerous eating principles, or diets that severely restrict entire food groups (other than fast and processed foods). Another discussion point was recognizing that you need to focus on more than just weight loss if you are going to engage in a successful lifestyle makeover. The weight loss part is fine, but if built into the program there is no maintenance schedule or template, you will likely regain weight, possibly more than you lost because of boredom, deprivation or the diet's lack of long term strategies.
Some other diet winners?
Biggest Loser, Ornish and Vegan for help with diabetes
Jenny Craig and Raw Foods for weight loss
Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig and Mediterranean Diets for "easiest to follow"
So what's your diet pick of 2012? Or are you going to pass on the diet and simply try to change some habits? Please share with the community!!
Published On: January 24, 2012