Every year, the jury sits in and decides which meal plans are the best to follow. Last year, the Mediterranean diet and the DASH diet won the awards for the best meal plans to follow in a tie position.
This year too, the results have rolled in and both the best eating patterns of 2018 have made it to the list again. The Mediterranean diet has maintained its top rankings. Throughout the year, we have seen research after research commending the benefits of the meal plan. So, the first position is a well-deserved one.
The DASH diet has also managed to make it to the top five in the list of best diets for 2019. Here is more on who made it to the list and the newcomer diet plan, the Nordic Diet:
Quick overview: The most effective meal plans to pursue in the present year
US News reveals several categories of diet plans. For instance, best diet on the whole, best diets for weight loss, best diets for healthy eating, and so on. Therefore, mentioned below is a look at the best meal plans in several categories:
Best Diets Overall: Three diet plans that have made it to this category are the Mediterranean diet, The DASH diet, and Flexitarian Diet.
Best Diets for Weight Loss: We have 5 winners in this category of top 3 with three diet plans in a tie position on the third slot. Names include Weight Watchers (WW), Volumetrics, and Flexitarian Diet, Jenny Craig, and Vegan Diet (in a tie position).
Best Commercial Diets: The best commercial diets include WW, Jenny Craig, and Nutritarian Diets.
Best Fast Weight Loss Diets: These include HMR Diet, Atkins (tie), Keto Diet (tie), OPTAVIA (tie), and WW (Weight Watchers) (tie). All these diets in a tie have been ranked second.
Best Diets for Diabetes: These are the Mediterranean diet, followed by the DASH diet, flexitarian diet, mayo clinic diet, and volumetrics diet in a tie.
Best Diets for Heart Health: Include the Mediterranean diet, Ornish diet, and DASH Diet.
Easiest Diets to Follow: These include the Mediterranean diet, Flexitarian diet, and WW Diet.
Best Plant-based Diets: The best plant-based diets include the Mediterranean diet, flexitarian diet, Nordic diet, and Ornish diet.
How are these diet plans ranked?
The best diet plans for every year comes from a panel of nutritionists, doctors specializing in diabetes, weight loss, and heart health, and dietary consultants. Each member on the panel scores 41 diets along seven different areas including how well they protect against chronic ailments, how easy they are to follow, and how likely are people to lose weight and keep it off by following the meal plan.
The final rankings extensively depend on the peer-reviewed clinical trials to unearth both the strengths and weaknesses of the meal plans. These rankings are important and welcomed every year.
The Top Diets Plans for 2019
Taking a more in-depth look at the best meal plans for 2019, we have:
- The Mediterranean Diet
- The Keto Diet
- The DASH Diet
- Flexitarian Diet
- MIND diet
And a new diet plan on the list is the Nordic Diet, which is positioned on number 9.
The Mediterranean Diet
As its name indicated, this meal plan originates from the eating patterns observed in Greece and other Mediterranean countries. It is based on the intake of fruits, vegetable nuts, healthy fats (olive oil), whole grains, and lean protein.
At the same time, the meal plan chops down the intake of processed foods, refined sugars, and red meat. The diet plan is credited for several health merits including lower risk of heart disease, cancer, healthier gut, and enhanced kidney health.
Research also suggests the meal plan is great for improving cognitive well-being. It has also been ranked among the easiest diets to follow, the best plant-based diet, best diet for healthy eating, diabetes, and heart health too.
The Ketogenic Diet Plan
The keto meal plan has trended throughout 2018. Understanding the basics is pretty simple. The meal plan focuses on consuming high content of healthy fats, a small portion of carbohydrates, and a moderate amount of proteins.
The chief aim is to encourage the body’s metabolism to shift to ketosis, a process in which the body burns fat instead of carbs as the main source of energy for all the bodily activities. Achieving ketosis is challenging though as the body is tuned to the use of carbs are an easy and quick fuel source.
As a result, a person notices signs of keto flu, which shows symptoms such as nausea, stomach cramps, fatigue, weakness, and more. Keto flu doesn’t last for long, so if you can fight through its symptoms, you can ace at this meal, which helps you shed the extra weight effectively.
The DASH Diet
The DASH diet stands for Dietary Approaches To Stop Hypertension. The meal plan has been designed for lowering blood pressure and boost cardiovascular health. Therefore, the focus is on lowering the consumption of sodium.
Other minerals that help lower blood pressure such as magnesium, calcium, and potassium are also taken as part of the meal plan. In general, the diet plan focuses on the intake of whole grains, low-fat dairy products vegetables, and fruits. There are moderate amounts of lean protein and a small portion of sweets, fats, and red meat.
The Flexitarian Diet
This meal plan is based on plant food intake for weight loss. The aim is also to cut the intake of meat significantly. Flexitarian diet helps reduce the risk of chronic conditions too. These include diabetes type II, heart disease, cancer, and more.
The meal plan has also been added to the list of best diets for diabetes, weight loss, and healthy eating.
The Mind Diet
The mind diet is a combination of Mediterranean and DASH diet. It has been designed to boost brain health by combining the pros of both these meal plans. The meal plan includes at least three servings of salad, whole grains, a vegetable, and a glass of wine.
There is no guarantee that the MIND diet can reverse or prevent cognitive decline. However, experts are all praise for the eating pattern as it combines two styles of healthy eating.
Nordic diet – the new meal plan on the list
The Nordic diet is a plant-based eating plan that traces its origins from the eating patterns followed in the Scandinavian tradition. This is the for the first time that the meal plan has made it to the top ten best diets.
There are not official rules for the Nordic diet. However, the 2017 book on The Nordic Way gives a good outline of the basic guidelines of the meal plan. The underlying concerns are simple. These include eating veggies and fruits daily, eating whole grains, more seafood, and picking high-quality meat.
Moreover, the focus is on reducing meat on the whole, having food from wild landscapes, avoiding food additives, using organic produce, turning out less waste, consuming more home-made food, and eating meals based on seasonal produce.
Hence, the spotlight is on locally sourced ingredients and avoiding processed meals. Plus, the effort is on reverting back to eating relaxed meals with family.