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U.S. News & World Report revealed its list of the 2024 Best Diets on Jan. 3.
The list was compiled in partnership with The Harris Poll, an American market research and analytics company, as well as a panel of 43 health experts.
The experts included medical doctors, registered dietitian nutritionists, academic weight-loss researchers and nutritional epidemiologists, according to a press release.
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“Diets that eliminate a lot of foods, have complicated rules or require large reliance on heavily processed shakes and meal replacements don’t fare well in our rankings,” Gretel Schueller, health editor for U.S. News, told Fox News Digital.
“(That’s) mainly because people struggle to stick to them for the long term.”
The list of the 2024 Best Diets has been compiled in partnership with The Harris Poll, an American market research and analytics company, as well as a panel of 43 health experts. (iStock)
“Restrictive diets are difficult to follow and can also cause health issues and unhealthy behaviors, like binge eating,” Schueller continued. “The key is lifestyle changes, not quick fixes.”
To determine what qualifies as a “best diet,” the panel evaluated nutritional completeness, health risks and benefits, long-term sustainability and evidence-based effectiveness, Schueller noted.
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This year’s list of 30 diets spans 11 categories: Best Diets Overall, Best Weight Loss Diets, Best Fast Weight Loss Diets, Best Diabetes Diets, Best Diets for Bone and Joint Health, Best Diets for Healthy Eating, Best Diet Programs, Best Family-Friendly Diets, Best Heart-Healthy Diets, Best Plant-Based Diets and Easiest Diets to Follow, the press release stated.
The Mediterranean diet focuses on healthy fats, fruits, whole grains, vegetables, nuts, seeds and beans. (iStock)
Here are the 30 best diets for 2024, starting with the top-ranked diet.
1. Mediterranean diet
The Mediterranean diet, which focuses on healthy fats, fruits, whole grains, vegetables, nuts, seeds and beans, has topped the list for the seventh consecutive year.
Erin Palinski-Wade, a New Jersey-based registered dietitian and author of “2-Day Diabetes Diet,” said this diet’s emphasis on whole foods and considerable health benefits has contributed to its popularity.
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“One of the biggest appeals of this meal plan is how it offers a variety of foods with a focus on balance, preventing it from feeling restrictive while also allowing individuals to enjoy the tastes and flavors they enjoy most,” she told Fox News Digital.
“It is easy to follow and may reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes,” she said.
2. DASH diet
The DASH diet — the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension diet — was designed by the U.S.-based National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, to help lower blood pressure and promote overall health.
The DASH diet, designed to help lower blood pressure and promote overall health, emphasizes more fruit and vegetable intake along with whole foods. (iStock)
“This well-balanced diet puts an emphasis on increasing fruit and vegetable intake along with whole foods, something most of us fall short on,” said Palinski-Wade. “It is a well-balanced, evidence-based eating plan that can offer a variety of health benefits.”
3. MIND diet
The MIND (Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay) diet is a hybrid of the DASH diet and the Mediterranean diet.
This diet is gaining in popularity, as it may help to benefit brain health and potentially reduce the risk of cognitive decline and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, noted Palinski-Wade.
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“As a flexible meal plan focused on maximizing overall intake of nutrient-dense foods, it may not only improve cognitive health, but could also reduce the risk of diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers,” she said.
4. Mayo Clinic diet
Designed by Mayo Clinic, this 12-week diet program follows a food pyramid with an emphasis on fruits, vegetables and whole grains, most of which have low calorie density, according to U.S. News.
The Mayo Clinic diet is a 12-week diet program that follows a food pyramid with an emphasis on fruits, vegetables and whole grains. (iStock)
Members can sign up for a monthly or yearly plan to access meal plans, trackers and other tools to help with healthy eating habits.
5. Flexitarian diet
For those who want to add more plant-based foods to their diet without fully committing to a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle, the Flexitarian diet allows for occasional meat consumption, making it more accessible and sustainable for many individuals, Palinski-Wade said.
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“This diet has been ranked as one of the easiest diets to follow, thanks to its flexibility and the absence of strict rules or restrictions,” she told Fox News Digital.
“Research also suggests that the Flexitarian diet may be more effective than traditional vegetarian or vegan diets at maintaining heart health.”
Launched in the 1960s, WeightWatchers (also known as WW) is a points-based membership meal plan designed to aid in weight loss.
“WeightWatchers is focused on lasting weight loss through behavior change, nutrition science and social support,” U.S. News stated. “That involves taking a holistic approach to help members eat healthier and move more.”
7. Volumetrics diet
This diet allows for the consumption of all foods, but calls for larger quantities of low-calorie, healthy meals to curb hunger.
The Volumetrics diet allows for the consumption of all foods, but calls for larger quantities of low-calorie, healthy meals to curb hunger. (iStock)
“This diet focuses on satiety and offers flexibility, making it easy to stick with,” said Palinski-Wade.
“The focus on adding high-volume foods, which are often rich in fiber, may promote a variety of health benefits, from weight loss to lower cholesterol levels and improved heart health.”
The dietitian noted that the Volumetrics diet is also easy to follow, as it does not involve strict rules or restrictions and can be tailored to individual needs and preferences.
8. Dr. Weil’s anti-inflammatory diet
Designed by Dr. Andrew Weil, an integrative medicine doctor, this diet plan is designed to reduce and prevent inflammation.
The diet emphasizes unprocessed foods, including lean proteins, healthy fats and fruits and vegetables.
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“It is a way of selecting and preparing anti-inflammatory foods based on scientific knowledge of how they can help your body maintain optimum health,” said Dr. Weil’s website.
“Along with influencing inflammation, this natural anti-inflammatory diet will provide steady energy and ample vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids dietary fiber and protective phytonutrients.”
9. TLC diet
Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes, also known as the TLC Diet, is a program designed to control hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol).
Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes, also known as the TLC Diet, is a program designed to control hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol). (iStock)
“The TLC diet is beneficial for heart health due to its focus on reducing saturated fats and cholesterol while emphasizing fiber-rich plant foods and whole grains, effectively managing cholesterol levels and supporting overall cardiovascular well-being,” Michelle Routhenstein, a New York-based preventive cardiology dietitian at EntirelyNourished.com, told Fox News Digital.
10. Vegan diet
Those on a vegan diet eat only plant-based foods, such as fruits, vegetables, grains, beans, nuts and seeds, according to WebMD. It excludes all animal foods, including dairy, eggs and honey.
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“It’s a healthy option for many reasons, as long as you’re purposeful about getting certain nutrients that can be more challenging to get from plants, such as calcium and B-12,” wrote U.S. News in the rankings.
11. Ornish diet
This vegetarian diet, developed in 1977 by Dean Ornish, M.D., a clinical professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, is low in fat, refined sugar and animal protein, according to the Everyday Health website.
There are no calorie or food restrictions, other than the elimination of meat, fish and poultry.
“Reversal of chronic disease and overall improved health are some of the benefits that the Ornish diet can provide,” said U.S. News.
12. Pritikin diet
Created by nutritionist Nathan Pritikin, this heart-healthy meal plan consists of 70% complex carbohydrates, 15% fat and 15% lean or plant-based protein.
Created by nutritionist Nathan Pritikin, the heart-healthy Pritikin meal plan consists of 70% complex carbohydrates, 15% fat and 15% lean or plant-based protein. (iStock)
Intended to be followed for a lifetime, the Pritikin diet incorporates low-fat, high-fiber foods along with daily exercise.
13. Zone diet
The Zone diet recommends a certain amount of carbs (40%), protein (30%) and fat (30%) with the goal of reducing inflammation, according to the Healthline website.
Created by Barry Sears, the Zone diet is designed to keep inflammatory hormones at healthy levels.
Noom is a subscription weight loss app that promotes a healthy lifestyle through the use of food and exercise tracking tools, virtual coaching and education.
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Although members can eat any meals they choose, Noom encourages low-calorie and high-volume foods, according to U.S. News.
15. Plantstrong diet
Comprised mainly of healthy vegan foods, this plant-based diet focuses on fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains.
Plantstrong members have access to “hundreds of whole food, plant-based, oil-free recipes,” as well as “personalized meal recommendations, interactive grocery lists, access to food coaches and personal saved menus,” according to its website.
16. South Beach diet
Created by cardiologist Arthur Agatson in 2003, the South Beach diet is a modified low-carb diet intended to aid in weight loss and promote a healthy lifestyle, according to Mayo Clinic.
The South Beach diet is a modified low-carb diet intended to aid in weight loss and promote a healthy lifestyle. (iStock)
Although it is lower in carbs, the South Beach diet isn’t as strict as other low-carb diets.
It also incorporates high levels of protein and healthy fats.
17. Nutritarian diet
The Nutritarian diet consists of plant-based, nutrient-dense superfoods, with only limited animal protein and processed foods.
The diet was developed by family physician Dr. Joel Fuhrman in 2003.
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It is designed as “a powerful way to lose weight, reverse chronic disease, live better, strengthen your immune defenses and slow the aging process,” according to Fuhrman.
18. Jenny Craig diet
Jenny Craig is a membership weight-loss program that delivers frozen meals every two weeks.
The focus is on managing calorie intake while encouraging physical activity and healthy behaviors, with the expectation of losing 1 to 2 pounds per week.
19. Profile Plan
The Profile Plan is a “structured program that focuses on nutrition, activity and behavior to promote health and weight loss,” according to U.S. News.
The Profile Plan is a “structured program that focuses on nutrition, activity and behavior to promote health and weight loss,” according to U.S. News. (iStock)
Members also have access to personalized one-on-one health coaching.
20. Paleo diet
The Paleo (Paleolithic) diet, also referred to as the “caveman diet,” is made up of foods that are thought to replicate those eaten during the Paleolithic era.
Those include lean meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, eggs, nuts and seeds, and oils from fruits and nuts, according to Mayo Clinic.
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“While the original paleo diet has sprouted many variations, some of which are less strict than others, it’s important to note that this high-protein diet ranked poorly among our diet experts, who assessed it as too restrictive and nutritionally inadequate to be healthy or sustainable,” wrote U.S. News in its assessment.
21. HMR Program
The Health Management Resources (HMR) diet program is a weight-loss plan that consists of a daily minimum of two entrées, three shakes and five servings of fruits and vegetables.
The program offers meal deliveries, free support and virtual coaching.
22. Nutrisystem diet
Designed by Nutrisystem, this high-protein, lower-glycemic diet is designed to stabilize blood sugar, control hunger and assist with weight management.
“Restrictive diets are difficult to follow and can also cause health issues and unhealthy behaviors, like binge-eating,” said the U.S. News health editor. (iStock)
Palinski-Wade praised the diet’s combination of well-balanced nutrition and convenient delivery options.
“Nutrisystem’s meals are designed by a team of registered dietitians and chefs and provide the perfect balance of low glycemic carbs, protein and healthy fats to curb appetite and provide steady energy,” she said.
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“The new Nutrisystem 7 in 7 is a one-week, high-protein jumpstart that allows participants to enjoy the motivation that comes with quick success in the first week, which research shows increases the chances of future success.”
23. Keyto diet
Inspired by the Mediterranean diet, the Keyto diet is a low-carb diet that emphasizes healthy proteins and fats from fish and plant-based foods, U.S. News noted.
The Keyto diet does not include refined carbohydrates or added sugar.
The Optavia diet focuses on reduced calories and low carbohydrates, offering a combination of packaged and homemade meals.
A “lifestyle program designed for weight loss,” the diet is “derived from the Medifast diet. (It) relies heavily on prepackaged foods, referred to as ‘fuelings,’ in combination with home-prepared recipes,” said U.S. News about this diet plan.
“Subscribing to the plan will also give you access to an independent coach who can help guide your Optavia journey. Many commercial weight loss plans sell very similar products – bars, shakes, dry soup mixes and more. If you’re a chronic dieter, some of these will undoubtedly taste familiar to you,” the publication noted.
The Optavia diet focuses on reduced calories and low carbohydrates, with a combination of packaged and homemade meals. (iStock)
25. Keto diet
The ketogenic (keto) diet only allows a very small amount of carbohydrates, with an emphasis on high-fat foods.
Some purported health benefits of the keto diet include weight loss and reduced risk of diseases, according to Healthline.
26. Atkins diet
Created by cardiologist Robert Atkins in the 1960s, the Atkins diet is a low-carb meal plan that emphasizes proteins and fats.
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By restricting carbs, the diet forces the body to use stored fat for energy.
27. SlimFast diet
Introduced in 1977, SlimFast is a diet plan based on meal replacement products, including shakes, smoothies and meal bars.
“The U.S. News best diets of 2024 have a few things in common — they don’t restrict entire food groups, they emphasize whole foods, and they focus on balance and maintainability.” (iStock)
The remainder of daily calories comes from a “sensible meal” of between 500 and 600 calories.
28. Dukan diet
This diet incorporates high-protein, low-carb foods with the goal of promoting fat burning and weight loss.
“Developed by French physician Dr. Pierre Dukan, the diet claims that you can lose up to 10 pounds within the first week and two to four pounds a week after that until you’ve reached your goal,” wrote U.S. News in its review, also calling the diet “extremely restrictive.”
29. Herbalife Nutrition
Consisting of low-calorie meal replacement shakes and metabolism-boosting supplements, this diet plan “has been criticized by experts,” wrote U.S. News.
“The company’s nutrition philosophy focuses on balanced and personalized nutrition, including a combination of healthy foods and supplements. Its weight management program combines meal replacement shakes, which are consumed twice a day, and weight loss supplements with physical activity and behavior modification.”
30. Raw food diet
People who follow this eating plan consume mostly or entirely raw and unprocessed foods — specifically food that hasn’t been “cooked, processed, microwaved, irradiated, genetically engineered or exposed to pesticides or herbicides,” noted U.S. News.
It added that since its origination in the late 1800s, it’s “become the focus of research to better understand the effects of raw food on human health.”
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“The U.S. News best diets of 2024 have a few things in common — they don’t restrict entire food groups, they emphasize whole foods, and they focus on balance and maintainability,” added Schueller of U.S. News.
Anyone may learn more about the programs by checking out the full reviews.
For more Health articles, visit www.foxnews.com/health.