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Plant-Based Diets Ranks High In 2017 Best Diets Rankings

Update Date: Jan 05, 2017 08:30 AM EST
Plant-based diets tops in 2017 Best Diets Rankings
Plant-based diets like the DASH Diet, Mediterranean Diet, and the MIND Diet ranks high in 2017 Best Diets Rankings. (Photo : Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

In seven years in a row, US News & World Report ranks the best and most effective diets for 2017 and it's not just random list. With the help of a panel of experts, the diets were ranked based on seven categories: how easy it is to follow, its effectivity to produce short-term and long-term weight loss, the diet's nutritional completeness, and its safety and potential to manage and prevent diabetes and heart diseases. This year, plant-based diets ranked high in the list. 

DASH Diet Is 2017 Overall Best Diet

DASH, which stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, was named the overall best diet of 2017 by the US News & World Report. The DASH Diet was developed by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) and endorsed by many US health institutes.

"DASH is not a fad diet, but a healthy eating plan that supports long-term lifestyle changes", according to the statement from the US National Institutes of HealthThe NHLBI has also published free guides and plans to tailor DASH for every individual.

The DASH Diet is a 2,000-calorie diet that emphasizes on eating more fruits and vegetables. Although it does not cut out any kind of food, the DASH diet does recommend eating a reduced amount of sodium intake (salt) and sweets.

Not only was the DASH Diet the Overall Best Diet of 2017, it even topped the list for Best Diabetes Diet, Best Diets For Healthy Eating, and Best Heart-Healthy Diets.

High Ranking Plant-Based Diets

The DASH Diet was not the only highly-ranked plant-based diet on the Best Diets Rankings 2017. Not far from the DASH Diet, the Mediterranean Diet, and the MIND Diet takes second and third place respectively in the Overall Best Diet category. Both diets are plant-based diets.

The Mediterranean Diet, just like the DASH Diet, recommends eating a lot of fruit and vegetables, whole grains, low or no-fat dairy, lean meats, poultry, and fish. Nuts, seeds, and legumes are also included. The Mediterranean Diet does not exclude any food but advice practicing portion control and a glass or two of red wine.

The MIND Diet is a combination of the Mediterranean Diet and the DASH Diet and aims at preventing Alzheimer's disease. It is a diet specifically targeted to keep the brain healthy and prevent mental decline. Its early research suggests that the MIND Diet is even effective even without rigidly following the diet.

The Mediterranean Diet tops the list for Best Plant-based Diet. It ties with the MIND Diet as number one diets for Easiest Diets To Follow.

Stay Active

Experts have emphasized that individuals must choose the diet best suited to their needs and goals. Additionally, these diets, no matter how effective on paper are still more effective when followed and practiced in conjunction to following an exercise routine.

It is not also enough to just follow the diets, but to stick to it and make positive lifestyle changes. "The only way to reach a healthy weight and stay there is to create patterns of eating that you can maintain for a lifetime, remembering, too, that being healthy outweighs being skinny", Samantha Heller, an exercise physiologist at NYU Langone Medical Center said.

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