The best diets of 2013

Last updated 13:44 09/01/2013
best diets
ACTUALLY EFFECTIVE: All diets claim to be revolutionary, but a new independent study has found those that actually work.

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An independent panel of 20 experts in the US have analysed the stats of 29 diets, from Weight Watchers to Dukan, to discover which ones we should all be on.

In a U.S News & World Report piece, the nutritionists and doctors weighed up each eating plan's ease of compliance, diabetes control and management, heart health, weight loss, safety, and nutritional completeness.

THE RANKINGS

Best overall diet: The US government-developed DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension), which encourages lower intake of sodium and higher intake of nutrients that lower blood pressure, ranked number one overall. The cut all high-cholesterol foods option called the TLC Diet came in at a close second, while the Mediterranean Diet, Mayo Clinic Diet, and Weight Watchers tied for third place.

Best plant-based diets: The Mediterranean Diet, which emphasises healthy fats, fruits and vegetables, took first place. It was followed closely by Dawn Jackson Blatner's Flexitarian Diet, a flexible approach to vegetarianism, and Dean Ornish's Diet, a low-fat, heart-healthy eating regime bolstered by exercise, social support and stress management techniques.

Best weight-loss diets: Weight Watchers ranked first place in weight loss. Tied for second place were Jenny Craig, the Biggest Loser Diet, and the raw food diet.

Best heart-healthy diets: The low-fat food ranking system that is the Ornish Diet ranked first for heart health. The TLC Diet, a US government-designed eating plan that stands for Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes, took second place and the DASH diet came in at third.

Best diabetes diets: The DASH Diet tied with the Biggest Loser Diet for the top diet for preventing or managing diabetes. Close behind it was a five-way tie among the Mayo Clinic Diet, the Ornish Diet, the vegan diet, Engine 2 Diet, and the Flexitarian Diet.

Best commercial diet plans: Some dieters may seek the structure and social support provided by many brand-name programs, so U.S. News also examined 12 commercial diet plans, from Dukan to Slim-Fast. Weight Watchers ranked first, followed by Jenny Craig at second, and the Biggest Loser Diet in third place.

Best diets for healthy eating: Considered the gold standard by our panellists, the DASH diet claimed first place for healthiness. Scoring second place was the TLC Diet, with the Mediterranean diet placing third.

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Easiest diets to follow: Weight Watchers ranked first, followed closely by Jenny Craig. A tie for third went to the Mediterranean Diet and Flexitarian Diet.

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