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Still hanging on to that New Year's resolution to lose weight? The most effective (and healthiest) way to lose pounds isn't Atkins, paleo, or even the South Beach Diet.
U.S. News and World Report convened a panel of experts for its annual diet rankings, and the top choice might surprise you. The best diet for the year is the DASH Diet, or Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. NPR notes the DASH diet is backed by government research, and has a lot of similarities to the Mediterranean diet, which ranks third on the U.S. News list.
The DASH Diet, like its longer name suggests, was originally designed to combat hypertension, or high blood pressure. The diet cuts back on salt, sweets, and fat, and focuses on lots of whole grains, lean meat and fish, and fruits and vegetables. Studies have shown the plan can help you lower blood pressure, increase "good" cholesterol and lower "bad" cholesterol and triglycerides. You don't have to completely restrict any food group, which makes the plan easy to stick to.
Other top diets include the TLC Diet, created by the National Institutes of Health, the Mayo Clinic Diet, the Mediterranean Diet, and Weight Watchers. Here's the top 10, and you can see the full list at U.S. News and World Report's website.
1. DASH Diet
2. TLC Diet
3 (tie): Mayo Clinic Diet
3 (tie): Mediterranean Diet
3 (tie): Weight Watchers
6 (tie): Flexitarian Diet