This Is the Best Diet Overall — for 5 Years Straight

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Woman eating healthful food
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A new year finds an old familiar favorite once again sitting atop the list of the best diets for your health.

For the fifth consecutive year, the Mediterranean Diet finished first in the annual U.S. News & World Report rankings of the best overall diets.

The diet — which focuses on a plant-based menu, with some fish and seafood and lean meats thrown in — is renowned for lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease.

The Mediterranean Diet is so impressive that it took the top spot in six separate U.S. News lists. It either held the top spot alone or tied with another diet in the following categories:

  • Best Overall Diet
  • Best Diets for Healthy Eating
  • Easiest Diets to Follow
  • Best Diets for Diabetes
  • Best Plant-Based Diets
  • Best Heart-Healthy Diets

Two other diets — the DASH Diet and the Flexitarian Diet — again tied for the No. 2 slot in the Best Overall Diet category.

The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, or DASH, Diet emphasizes reducing sodium intake and eating more foods rich in nutrients that lower blood pressure.

The Flexitarian Diet — whose name combines “flexible” and “vegetarian” — focuses mostly on plant-based foods, but also includes the option to eat moderate amounts of meat and other animal products.

U.S. News notes that the WW (Weight Watchers) diet once again ranked high across multiple categories, and tied with the Flexitarian Diet and the Volumetrics Diet for the top spot in the Best Weight-Loss Diet category.

To create its rankings, U.S. News tapped the wisdom of a panel of the country’s top nutritionists and specialists in diabetes, heart health and weight loss. The 27 experts ranked 40 diets across seven factors, including:

  • Ease of compliance
  • Likelihood of losing significant weight in both the short and long term
  • Effectiveness against cardiovascular disease and diabetes

The experts looked at two new diets this year, Intermittent Fasting and the Sirtfood Diet. Neither diet rated a mention in any of the six lists.