Jan. 5, 2016 -- The DASH diet took the top spot overall for the sixth straight year in the U.S. News & World Report annual diet rankings, released Tuesday.
This year, the publication rated 38 diet plans in all -- three more than in 2015 -- with rankings based on reviews from a panel of experts. Two of the new additions ranked highly: the MIND diet, which focuses on boosting brain health, and the Fertility diet, which aims to help women conceive faster but has been shown to benefit others as well.
The rankings also added a new category, Best Diets for Fast Weight Loss. “We recognize dieters may have short-term weight goals and need options to accomplish that in a healthy way,” says Angela Haupt, a senior health editor at U.S. News.
DASH (dietary approaches to stop hypertension) was developed by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute to help people prevent high blood pressure. The plan focuses on eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains while lowering salt. Besides being named Best Diet Overall, DASH also got first place in the category of Best Diets for Healthy Eating.
Weight Watchers won first place in the Best Weight Loss Diets category. The Weight Watchers and Mayo Clinic plans tied for first place in the Best Commercial Weight Loss Diet category, with Jenny Craig coming in next.
The report and its experts take into account that ''people diet for different reasons," Haupt says. Some are looking for short-term weight loss, others long term. One of the new contenders, as the name implies, aims to boost a woman's odds of getting pregnant. Other people diet to improve their heart health, diabetes, or to lower their risks for those conditions.
The experts rated the plans into various categories. They included:
- Best Overall
- Best Weight Loss Diets
- Best Fast Weight Loss Diets
- Easiest Diets to Follow
- Best Diets for Healthy Eating
- Best Diets for Diabetes
- Best Diets for Heart Disease
- Best Plant-Based Diets
- Best Commercial Weight Loss Diets
More Info on Winning Plans
For Best Overall, the MIND diet came in second after DASH, tying with TLC. MIND combines features of the DASH and Mediterranean plans, aiming to boost brain health. TLC stands for Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes and aims to lower cholesterol through diet, exercise, weight loss, and not smoking.