Best diets of 2016 have been revealed. Picture: iStock.
IT’S ONE of the biggest resolutions people make each and every year — slimming down.
From Dukan to DASH, Weight Watchers and Paleo, what works in terms of weight loss, heart health and even reducing diabetes has become a minefield.
But if 2016 is your year to shed that unwanted weight, US News and World Report has cut through the fat and released their report for the Best Diets of 2016.
Cutting through the carb. The MIND diet combines the traditional Mediterranean with the DASH eating plan. Picture: iStock.Source:istock
In a gruelling process that saw a panel of health experts ranking 38 diets between one and five stars, the report narrowed down claims and delivered a platter of dieting detail.
The panel ranged in experts specialising in diet, nutrition, obesity, food psychology, diabetes and heart disease.
From nutritional value to safety, the panellists gave their opinions on each diet and revealed what they liked and disliked about each eating plan.
The profiles for each diet explained how the diet plan worked, determined whether it lived up to its claim and scrutinised any possible health risks. The profiles also revealed personal accounts on what it was like to live on each diet.
DASH diet focuses on helping control high blood pressure, and includes a combination of vegetables, whole grains and lean meats. Picture: Getty.Source:istock
Once each diet received a rating, US News & World Report converted the scores to stars with five stars being the highest rating.
For a diet to receive a top rating, the plan had to be nutritious, safe and effective for weight loss and preventing diabetes and heart disease.
The biggest category, the Best Overall Diet, was taken out by the DASH eating plan for the sixth year in a row, receiving an overall score of 4.1 out of 5.
Known as the Dietary Approach to Stopping Hypertension, the plan was originally designed to help control high blood pressure, focus on a healthy pattern of eating which includes lots of vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins.
“The popularity of the DASH diet is fantastic, simply because the DASH diet is basically a healthy eating plan that is user-friendly and even provides menu plans that you can tailor, ” Australian nutritionist Kristen Beck told news.com.au
“The focus of the DASH diet is eating healthy foods like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean protein and low-fat dairy, while limiting or removing those we’ve grown to love like calorie and fat-laden sweets and red meat.
In at number two was the MIND diet, a combination of DASH and the Mediterranean, emphasising on more fish, olives and nuts.
“Of all the diets listed, I would agree that the DASH diet is the best because of it’s simple focus on healthy eating, as well as some really well-designed plans and structure to keep you on track, ” Ms Beck said.
Biggest Loser weight loss plan came in at Number 1 as the Best Fast Weight Loss Diet of 2016. Picture: Supplied.Source:Supplied
As for those looking for a quick fix, this year the panel included a category for ‘Best Fast Weight-Loss Diet.’ The experts revealed the Biggest Loser eating plan and the HMR Program as having the fastest results.
The Biggest Loser plan focuses on six weeks of healthy food and regular exercise, while the HMR program focuses on weight loss and keeping it off through meal replacements and added fruits, vegetables and physical activity.
Meal replacements for weight loss are often slammed as being unsustainable, but chief medical officer at the HMR program insists the program is easy to stick to and provides long-term results.
“A common misconception is that losing weight quickly is not healthy, not sustainable, and will just lead to future weight regain, ” Carol Addy wrote in a release. But she says, to the contrary, “numerous clinical studies demonstrate that following a lifestyle change program which promotes fast initial weight loss can result in better long-term success”.
“Fast weight loss isn’t something I recommend, UNLESS you are really ready for long-term change, ” Ms Beck added.
“The reality is that we are all impatient, and want to see results so we will then stick with it. Each of the programs listed in the report have enough healthy foods to keep you going, and depending on what you were eating before, may actually provide you with more nutrients than you were getting before”.
Women dieting using meal replacement shakes. Picture: iStock.Source:istock
“If you are looking to make sense of all of the diets out there, this list is a really good start, ” Ms Beck said.
“There are so many different diets out there, all proclaiming to have THE answer to long term weight loss and health. The truth is, however, most of the really healthy diets are very, very similar they really are only tweaked to have some kind of marketing edge.
So, if you’re after a plan that will lower your risk of diabetes, perhaps boost heart health or even the easiest to follow — here’s how the other categories stacked up:
BEST DIETS OVERALL:
BEST WEIGHT-LOSS DIET
BEST COMMERCIAL DIET PLAN
2. Weight Watchers Diet
BEST DIABETES DIET
2. Biggest Loser Diet
3. DASH Diet
BEST DIET FOR HEALTHY EATING
1. DASH Diet
2. TLC Diet
BEST FAST WEIGHT-LOSS DIET
1. Biggest Loser Diet
2. HMR Program
BEST HEART-HEALTHY DIET
BEST PLANT-BASED DIET