For many, the start of the new year signals the start of a new diet.
"You really want something to be a lifestyle change so that you can handle it if you have kids or you live alone and I think this one really checks all those boxes", registered dietitian Amy Peick says.
The diet, named for the region that includes Norway, Iceland, Finland, Denmark and Sweden, is an example of a growing interest in diets followed by some of the healthiest people in the world, according to Angela Haupt, assistant managing editor of health at U.S. News and World Report.
For its rankings, U.S. News and World Report evaluated 41 different diets on factors like weight loss and diet's effectiveness against diseases.
The Mediterranean Diet won out, because judges felt it was effective, affordable and easy to stick with.
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Rich in low-starch vegetables, fruit, healthy fats (mostly from olives and olive oil), nuts, seeds, whole grains, legumes, and fish, the Mediterranean diet eschews simple sugars and refined starches and is low in red meat. The DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet was ranked second on the magazine's overall Best Diets 2019 list, followed by the Flexitarian plan.
The Weight Watchers diet tied for fourth place with the MIND diet. Because of new research regarding the Mediterranean diet, such as findings that it could lower the risk of dementia and aggressive prostate cancer, it took the lead for 2019. Eating a diet that's mostly vegetarian while also allowing for an occasional burger or steak to satisfy a craving can help with weight management and improve overall health, Blatner says.
The Mediterranean diet came out on top. It assigns points aiming for nutritious foods with fewer calories. The trendy ketogenic diet (also known as the keto diet), which is very high in fats but low in carbohydrates, moved up to the second-best plan for weight loss.
But the diet topping any list isn't necessarily the best diet for you.