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Report Ranks Best Diets of 2015—Paleo Comes in Last

Which diet is best? Every doctor, and practically every person, seems to have an answer. Now U.S. News & World Report has weighed in, ranking 35 of the best diets for 2015. To qualify, the diet had to be fairly easy to follow, nutritious, and safe and effective for weight loss and preventing diabetes and heart disease. The diet that ranked No. 1 as “Best Overall Diet” may come as a surprise to many—it was not the popular Paleo diet, which advocates foods that our pre-agricultural ancestors ate. Instead, the winner was the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet, which is similar to the Mediterranean diet.

DASH emphasizes fruits, vegetables, nuts, and lean meats (especially fish and poultry), as does the Paleo diet, but it also allows whole grains, low-fat dairy, and beans, which the Paleo diet does not allow. DASH is based on research sponsored by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) which explored eating plans that could lower high blood pressure and improve blood lipid levels. DASH has also been studied as an effective intervention for weight loss. So, what’s wrong with the Paleo diet, which came in last? Among other things, the rankings argue that because the Paleo diet excludes entire food categories such as dairy and grains, it may make it easy to miss key nutrients. While Paleo advocates would disagree with this conclusion, they weren't able to sway the editors at U.S. News & World Report. Here are some other top diets from the list ranked by diet category:

  • Best weight-loss diet: Weight Watchers
  • Best diabetes diet: Biggest Loser
  • Best heart-healthy diet: Ornish diet
  • Best commercial diet plan: Weight Watchers
  • Best diet for overall healthy eating: DASH diet
  • Easiest diet to follow: Weight Watchers
  • Best plant-based diet: Mediterranean diet

Source: U.S. News & World Report

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