The Best Diet of 2024 Crowned as a Science-Backed Eating Approach


Once again, the Mediterranean style of eating has been crowned as the best overall diet, maintaining its reign for the seventh consecutive year. This prestigious title was announced by U.S. News & World Report in their recent ratings.

According to the report, the Mediterranean diet came out on top in several categories, including being the easiest diet to follow, the best family-friendly diet, the best diet for healthy eating, and the best diet for diabetes, bone and joint, and heart-healthy eating.

The DASH diet, known as dietary approaches to stop hypertension, was awarded second place for best diet, while the MIND diet, which stands for Mediterranean-DASH intervention for neurodegenerative delay, secured third place among the 30 diets. All three leading diets prioritize a plant-based approach, emphasizing the consumption of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, and seeds.

The vegan diet was recently evaluated by a panel of 43 nutritional experts, who awarded it third place in the category of best plant-based diets. In the latest evaluations, several diets were assessed for their effectiveness. The Dukan diet ranked among the top choices, followed closely by the Herbalife Nutrition diet. The HMR and its sister brand, the Profile Plan, also received positive ratings. Another notable diet, the Plantstrong diet (formerly known as Engine 2), secured a respectable position in the overall diet category.

“The world of diet and nutrition can be overwhelming and filled with misinformation and inaccurate health claims,” stated Shanley Chien, senior health editor at U.S. News, in an email.

“That’s why U.S. News does the legwork for its users, gathering input from nationally recognized medical and nutrition experts to determine which diets are considered the best in terms of nutritional completeness, ease of following, and promoting a healthy lifestyle for the long term,” stated Gretel Schueller, managing editor of health at U.S. News & World Report.

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What is a Mediterranean style of eating?

Once again, the Mediterranean style of eating has been crowned as the best overall diet, maintaining its reign for the seventh consecutive year. This prestigious title was announced by U.S. News & World Report in their recent ratings.

Research has shown that adopting the Mediterranean diet may lower the chances of developing conditions such as diabetes, high cholesterol, dementia, memory loss, depression, and breast cancer. The meal plan, characterized as an eating style rather than a restrictive diet, has also been associated with improved bone health, a stronger cardiovascular system, and increased longevity.

The diet promotes a straightforward approach to cooking, with an emphasis on incorporating fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, and seeds into each meal. Additionally, it encourages the consumption of a moderate amount of nuts and places a strong emphasis on using extra-virgin olive oil. Butter and other fats besides olive oil are rarely consumed, if at all, while sugar and refined foods are saved for special occasions.

Red meat is typically used in small amounts, primarily to enhance the flavor of a dish. It is recommended to include healthy, oily fish in your diet as they are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. On the other hand, eggs, dairy, and poultry are consumed in smaller quantities compared to the typical Western diet.

Social interactions during meals and exercise are fundamental aspects of the Mediterranean style of eating. Embracing a more holistic approach to diet, this lifestyle encourages enjoying meals with loved ones, savoring favorite foods with mindfulness, and incorporating mindful movement and exercise.

Ranked last by experts

The raw food diet, which promotes the consumption of uncooked and unprocessed food, was ranked last in the list of 30 best overall diets. According to the report, this diet suggests avoiding food that has undergone cooking, processing, microwaving, irradiation, genetic engineering, or exposure to pesticides or herbicides.

Although the diet may seem healthy at first glance, it is important to note that it is overly restrictive in terms of nutrition and may not be safe for everyone, as stated by the U.S. News & World Report website. According to Dr. Vanita Rahman, an internal medicine physician and clinic director of the Barnard Medical Center in Washington, DC, cooking certain foods can provide a wider range of options and increase the consumption of protein and other important nutrients.

“The most optimal and beneficial approach to consuming raw foods is by incorporating them into a wholesome, plant-based diet that includes a variety of raw fruits and vegetables, as well as cooked lentils, beans, grains, and vegetables,” stated Rahman during the website’s evaluation.

According to the report, the keto diet ranked 25th overall but claimed the top spot in the best fast weight-loss category. However, according to experts, the diet is considered too restrictive to be followed for an extended period of time.

I’ve noticed a common trend among individuals who are looking to shed some pounds – they often turn to the keto diet as a solution, only to abandon it when they find it too challenging to sustain. According to registered dietitian and panelist Amanda Sauceda, sticking to this diet can be challenging, and it seems that many people are not truly following a keto diet but rather opting for a low-carb approach. Sauceda shared her evaluation on the U.S. News & World Report site.

According to the report, individuals with heart, liver, and kidney conditions, as well as certain types of cancer, are advised against following the diet. Individuals who have not received medical advice to lose weight, expectant individuals, and athletes with high performance levels should also avoid following the keto diet.

A 2023 analysis of studies has raised concerns about potential cognitive decline, nutritional deficiencies, kidney stones, heart disease, and muscle loss associated with long-term adherence to the keto diet.


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