This Is the Best Diet for Your Health in 2021

Woman losing weight
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If your New Year’s resolution is to slim down and stay healthy, consider reaching for more vegetables, fruits, whole grains and seafood.

For the fourth consecutive year, the Mediterranean diet has taken the top spot in the latest U.S. News rankings of the best overall diets.

The diet — which focuses on a plant-based menu, with a touch of 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 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 diet that finished fourth in the Best Overall Diet category — the Weight Watchers diet — ranked high across multiple categories, and tied with the flexitarian 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 24 experts ranked 39 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 four new diets this year — the Noom diet, the AIP diet, the GAPS diet and the modified keto diet.

U.S. News notes that Noom did particularly well in the rankings, tying with Jenny Craig for the No. 3 spot in the Best Commercial Diet category, and finishing 12th in the Best Overall Diet category. The diet involves behavioral changes and working with a virtual coach via the Noom smartphone app.

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