Skip to main content

Want to eat healthier this year? Consider these top-rated diets

Each year, US News & World Report convenes a panel of nationally recognized experts in diet, nutrition, obesity, food psychology, diabetes and heart disease. They review the most popular diets in the United States and identify which are the most and least healthy. SPOILER ALERT: All of the best eating plans focus on foods that come from the ground in their whole, unprocessed form. But what better way to start 2021 than to take a look at top-rated diets that may help you reach your health goals.

Mediterranean Diet: There is established research that people living in countries that border the Mediterranean Sea live longer and have lower rates of cancer and heart disease, due to a diet that is low in red meat, sugar and saturated fat. This diet emphasizes eating fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans, and whole grains, and cooking with olive oil.

DASH Diet: DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, and is promoted by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute to help people with high blood pressure. This diet encourages eating fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and low-fat dairy, while discouraging fatty meats, full-fat dairy and sugary sweets and beverages. A key component to this diet is keeping sodium intake to a minimum, which is best accomplished by avoiding processed foods.

Flexitarian Diet: Being a “flexible vegetarian” means living a plant-based diet overall, while still having the option of a burger or steak as an occasional treat. The key, of course, is to add more fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains, not plant-based cookies and ice cream!