The Best Diets for 2018 - U.S. Health Alerts
By: Patrick Mansfield | U.S. Health Alerts

Best 2018 Diets

With the start of the new year comes an influx of people determined to eat healthier and slim down in 2018. Based on the latest annual ratings from U.S. News and World Report, the best diet for 2018 was a tie between the DASH diet and the Mediterranean diet. 

U.S. News enlisted a panel of health and food experts to rank a total of 40 diets based on a variety of factors such as, how easy it is to stick with, The diet's potential for helping a person lose weight both in the short-term and long-term, and  safety.

Using the expert's ratings, the company determined scores to determine the best diets. In addition to the best diet overall, the experts also chose the best diets for healthy eating, weight loss, and more. 

Tied for last place were the Dukan Diet and the Keto Diet. Individuals following the Keto Diet slash their carb intake and fill up on fats instead. This helps the body enter a state known as "ketosis", where the body uses fat for fuel. The Dukan Diet is a strict plan that is heavy on rules. It includes several stages, including a phase based on consuming high amounts of protein. Experts rated each of these diets as difficult to follow.

1st Place: The DASH Diet - 

Designed to help individuals decrease their blood pressure, the Dash diet consists of whole grains, vegetables, fruits, low-fat dairy, and lean protein. Individuals following the DASH diet are advised to avoid sugary drinks, full-fat dairy, certain oils, and saturated fat. They are also advised to decrease their salt consumption. 

Also 1st Place: The Mediterranean Diet 

This diet gained its name from dietary habits of people in Mediterranean countries and had been associated with improved health and longevity. It focuses on fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats such as olive oil, nuts, and fish. 

The Mediterranean Diet has been found to be helpful in preventing Type 2 Diabetes. As well as being useful in preventing Type 2 Diabetes, it can also help people diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes to control their blood sugar levels. 

2nd Place: The Flexitarian Diet

When you combine "flexible" and "vegetarian", you get the flexitarian diet. This plan encourages people to follow a mostly vegetarian diet, but also allows for an occasional portion of meat. 

3rd Place: Weight Watchers

This popular diet, endorsed by celebrities such as Jennifer Hudson and Oprah Winfrey, is based on a system of points. Each item of food represents a certain number of points. Each day, people aim to stay at or below their determined point limit. Healthy, nutrient-rich foods typically have fewer points, while sweets and junk food contain a higher number of points. 

4th Place: The MIND Diet 

The MIND diet is a combination of the DASH and Mediterranean diets. It supposedly can help fight against Alzheimer's disease and protect the grain, although further research is still needed to know the full effects. 

On this diet, individuals are prompted to consume food from 10 "Brain-healthy" groups:

Empahasis on green leafy vegetables  |  All other vegetables  |   Berries  |  Poultry  |  Nuts
Beans  |  Fish  |  Whole Grains  |  Wine  |  Olive Oil.

In addition to consuming foods deemed conducive to brain health, the diet frowns upon five food items:

Cheese  |  Sweets  |  Fried food  |  Fast food  | Stick margarine

Since this diet includes aspects of the Mediterranean Diet, it may be helpful in preventing Type 2 Diabetes. It may also help current sufferers of Type 2 Diabetes gain better control over their blood sugar. While the Mediterranean diet has been found to be especially helpful in preventing Type 2 Diabetes, any diet that causes you to lose weight can help fight Type 2 Diabetes. 

5th Place: The TLC Diet

Tied for fifth place, The TLC (Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes) diet, tied for fifth place, is intended to assist individuals in lowering their cholesterol levels. Followers of this plan focus on cutting down fat, particularly saturated fat. They are also advised to consume more fiber. 

Also 5th Place: The Volumetrics Diet

Individuals that follow the volumetrics diet pay special attention to the energy that each food provides (in other words, the number of calories in a specific portion of food). Foods that have a high density of energy have higher amounts of calories, even for small portions. 

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