This Is the Best Diet Overall — for 6 Years Straight

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Woman eating salad
RossHelen /

For the sixth consecutive year, the best diet for your health is an old favorite.

The Mediterranean Diet once again 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 five separate U.S. News lists. It either held the top spot alone or tied with another diet in the following categories:

  • Best Diet Overall
  • Best Diets for Bone and Joint Health
  • Best Family-Friendly Diets
  • Best Diets for Healthy Eating
  • Best Plant-Based 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.

The WW (Weight Watchers) diet took the top spot in the Best Weight-Loss Diets category. The Keto Diet took first in the Best Fast Weight-Loss Diets category.

To create its rankings, U.S. News tapped the wisdom of more than 30 nutritionists, doctors and epidemiologists. They ranked 24 diets in 11 categories. U.S. News then created profiles for each diet. According to the publication:

“Each profile explains how the diet works, determines whether its marketing claims are realistic, scrutinizes it for possible health risks — and reveals what it’s like to live on the diet, not just read about it.”

The experts looked at two new diets this year, Pritikin and Keyto. Neither diet finished near the top in any of the categories.

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