New Year, New Diet Resolutions!

MHollander

MHollander

Each new year I post the “Best Diet” list from U.S.News. “A panel of health experts, including nutritionists and specialists in diabetes, heart health, human behavior and weight loss, reviewed detailed assessments prepared by U.S. News of 38 diets. The experts rated each diet in seven categories, including short- and long-term weight loss, ease of compliance, safety and nutrition.” This year I want to look at the top three overall, the easiest & healthiest to follow & how some of the ”  fad  ~popular diets” fared. At the end of the post, under Resources, are additional articles for you to read.


The top three, Dash, Mediterranean & MIND, are consistently rated the healthiest way to eat. This year Mediterranean scored #2. Here is a reminder of what each diet is about. Click on the name of the diet to see their scores, get a very detailed overview, health & nutrition, recipes, do’s & don’ts, along with experts reviews. 

  1. DASH DietDASH was developed to fight high blood pressure, not as an all-purpose diet. But it certainly looked like an all-star to our panel of experts, who gave it high marks for its nutritional completeness, safety, ability to prevent or control diabetes and role in supporting heart health. Though obscure, it beat out a field full of better-known diets.” DASH is a very good diet to follow. 

  2. Mediterranean Diet: With its emphasis on fruits and vegetables, olive oil, fish and other healthy fare, the Mediterranean diet is eminently sensible. And experts’ assessments of it were resoundingly positive, giving this diet an edge over many competitors. I don’t think you need me to comment on this one 😉

  3. MIND DietThe MIND diet takes two proven diets ­­– DASH and Mediterranean – and zeroes in on the foods in each that specifically affect brain health. It made an impressive debut to the 2016 rankings, shooting up to second place overall, tying with the TLC diet. It’s a healthy, sensible plan with science behind it. The MIND diet, which stands for “Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay,” was developed by Martha Clare Morris, a nutritional epidemiologist at Rush University Medical Center, through a study funded by the National Institute on Aging and published online February 2015. Morris’ team followed the food intake of 923 Chicago-area seniors. Over 4.5 years, 144 participants developed Alzheimer’s disease. The longer people had followed the MIND diet patterns, the less risk they appeared to have. Even people who made “modest” changes to their diets – who wouldn’t have fit the criteria for DASH or Mediterranean – had less risk of developing Alzheimer’s. The study found the MIND diet lowered Alzheimer’s risk by about 35 percent for people who followed it moderately well and up to 53 percent for those who adhered to it rigorously.”  This diet is for those of you who are ok with doing it yourself. It has guidelines like the Mediterranean diet but not as regimented as the DASH. 

The easiest diets to follow; three tied for #1. Look familiar? 🙂

  •  #1 Mediterranean Diet (tie) 🙂
  •  #1 Weight Watchers Diet (tie) Even though they changed how their point system works this year, it is still the easiest, healthiest diet to follow for losing & maintaining your weight.
  •  #1 MIND Diet (tie)  “You may lower your risk of mental decline with this new hybrid of two balanced, heart-healthy diets – even without rigidly sticking to it – early research suggests. The main complaint with this diet is that your pretty much on your own for recipes & building a meal. 

What about some of the “fad~popular diets” from 2016, how did they rate? I am adding comments from a great article: What the science says about every popular diet — and whether they can work for you 

#31 in Best Diets Overall: Acid Alkaline Diet  “What the science says: Much of the diet’s advice — mainly cutting down on meat, sugar, alcohol, and processed foods — is sound, but it’s making these recommendations based on faulty information. The body regulates its own pH, regardless of what you eat. Proponents of the diet claim that acidic foods make your body work harder to digest them, but that isn’t backed up by science. Some also say that the alkaline diet could protect against bone loss, but researchers have dismissed that claim. Eating more fruits and vegetables is always a good idea, but cutting out several major food groups entirely could leave you lacking key nutrients. Scientists haven’t studied whether the alkaline diet could help you lose weight.”

#36 in Best Diets Overall: Paleo Diet “What the science says: We know cutting most processed foods and sugar out of your diet can be beneficial. A small observational study found participants did lose weight and might have reduced their heart disease risk on the paleo diet, but these effects didn’t appear to be more than other participants on similarly calorie-restricted diets. A review of four studies found similar results, but noted the researchers only studied the diet intervention short-term. Cutting out main food groups like dairy and grains could prevent you from getting the nutrients you need, though. “If you want to copy your paleolithic ancestors, you’re better off mimicking their activity levels, rather than their alleged diet,” the British Dietetic Association concludes.”

#38 in Best Diets Overall: Whole30 Diet  “What the science says: Restrictive diets can be much harder to follow, and Whole 30 is a very restrictive diet. It’s also a short-term plan, not the type of long-term lifestyle change that typically yields better results over time. Whole 30 is somewhat similar to the Paleo diet, which has only shown modest short-term effects in studies. Scientists haven’t studied Whole 30 specifically yet. But Dr. David L. Katz, the founding director of the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center, told Business Insider last summer that he was skeptical of the benefits people rave about on Instagram. “The grouping [of banned foods] is both random, and rather bizarre from a nutrition perspective,” he said. “If the idea is good nutrition, cutting out whole grains and legumes is at odds with a boatload of evidence.”


The Gluten-Free diet was not on the USNews Best Diets list. I know a lot of people are going gluten free, so I wanted to add the comments about it from  What the science says about every popular diet — and whether they can work for you :

“What the science says: Record numbers of people are gluten-free now, despite the fact that a 2016 study found that the number of people with celiac disease has remained steady since 2009. Researchers suspect that many people feel better when they cut gluten out of their diets because this also means they eat fewer sugary, processed foods. People on gluten-free diets can be at risk of missing out on key nutrients found in grains, like iron, fiber, and riboflavin. There isn’t evidence to suggest that a gluten-free diet could help you lose weight, and some people even gain weight on the diet. But for the 1% of the US population who has celiac disease, going gluten-free can save them from the gastrointestinal distress that grains cause them.”

Take a look at that link. It discusses more diets that you may be interested in.


Oprah Winfrey is now the co-owner & spokesman for Weight Watchers. I read an interview that she did. I want to share what she said. I think this sums up how we should look at diets and our intentions:

“Intention is the most powerful principle that rules my world. It’s the principle by which I rule my company and every action in my life. I do nothing without first thinking about why I’m doing it,” she said. “When the weight started to come off, I needed to get clear on my intention. I could lose weight to fit a dress size, or attend an event, or to make other people like me. But I couldn’t keep it off for those reasons. I always put the weight back on. This time I changed the intention to, ‘I want to be the healthiest I can be — physically, emotionally, spiritually.’ So the process and purpose of losing shifted for me. It was easier, because my intention was clearer.”  from CollegeCandy 

‘I want to be the healthiest I can be — physically, emotionally, spiritually.’ This should be our focus, our goal, our intention, & our life long resolution.

Until next week….Mary 🙂

Resources

  • Best Diets “ U.S. News evaluated 38 of the most popular diets and identified the best. Find which top-rated diet is best for your health and fitness goals.”
  • Less shrinkage: This is your aging brain on the Mediterranean diet The aging brain is a shrinking brain, and a shrinking brain is, generally speaking, a brain whose performance and reaction time are declining: That is a harsh reality of growing older. But new research shows that brain shrinkage is less pronounced in older folks whose diets hew closely to the traditional diet of Mediterranean peoples — including lots of fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and olive oil, little red meat and poultry, and regular, moderate consumption of fish and red wine.”
  • A diet high in fruits, vegetables and fish may help fight acne in adult women “Research found that women who consumed little to no fruits, vegetables and fish were more likely to experience breakouts as adults. Twenty to 40 percent of people over 18 still struggle with acne.”
  • DASH Diet Wins Top Spot Again “After the DASH diet, the Mediterranean diet came in second overall, and the MIND diet took third place. The Mediterranean diet focuses on eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains while drinking alcohol in moderation. The MIND diet, a new addition last year, combines elements of the Mediterranean and DASH diets. It aims to boost brain health.”
  • A Plant-Friendly Atkins Diet Gets High Marks On List Of 2017’s Best Diets “The Eco-Atkins diet makes the cut in the fastest weight-loss category. The diet was developed by a nutrition scientist at the University of Toronto. “It’s a plant-based spin on the Atkins diet. It calls for 31 percent of daily calories to come from plant proteins, 43 percent from plant fats and 26 percent from carbs,” explains Haupt.”
  • What the science says about every popular diet — and whether they can work for you There are so many diets out there, but figuring out which one will actually work for you can be tough. Luckily, scientists have found that most reasonable diets can help you lose weight, compared to not following a diet at all. Overall, studies have shown that diets rich in plants and low in processed foods are the best for weight loss.But many popular diets aren’t based on sound scientific principles.If you’re setting a New Year’s resolution to lose weight in 2017, here’s what the science says about 15 popular diets, so you can decide which one — if any — might be right for you.
  • Whole30 Is Actually the Worst Diet You Could Do 
  • Army warns of new threat: Energy drinks  These products generally are unregulated and can have negative side effects,” the report said. “Those who drank three or more drinks a day also were more likely to report sleep disruption related to stress and illness and were more likely to fall asleep during briefings or on guard duty.”
  • Diet debate: Are diet drinks a no-go? A lot of people assume they must be healthy choices because they are not sugared beverages, but the critical thing for people to understand is we don’t have the evidence,” said Prof Susan Swithers, from the US’s Purdue University. Studies looking at large groups of people have shown obese people tend to drink more fizzy diet drinks than those of a healthy weight.”