Year’s best, trendiest diets revealed
Mediterranean diet still the gold standard
Depending on who you talk to, dieting is life-changing, terrible for you, optimistic, misguided, will keep you alive or put you in an early grave.
Then there’s all that lingo that comes with mastering the biological theories behind dieting, like ketosis and alkaline and lectin — phrases that make you feel like you’re in a science class rather than just trying to shed a few pounds or live a healthier life.
Have no fear, because we’ve got a simplified guide for you about the trendiest diets of the new year — that selfconscious time when everyone’s reevaluating their lifestyle.
U.S. News and World Report has released its annual rankings of the Best Diets for 2019, revealing the Mediterranean diet was the best overall choice.
Each diet description below is a rating of its effectiveness, based on U.S. News and World Report rankings. We’ve included their findings, based on input from a panel of health experts, on weight loss and healthiness for each diet. While doing this study they took into account the diet being “relatively easy to follow, nutritious, safe, effective for weight loss and protective against diabetes and heart disease.”
Here are the diet trends you’re likely to see referenced in celebrity Instagram captions this year.
Perhaps the biggest fad that’s riding its wave of popularity right into 2019 is the Ketogenic, or “Keto,” diet. Celebs like Kourtney Kardashian, Al Roker and Vinny Guadagnino (who affectionately went by the nickname “Keto Guido” on the new seasons of “Jersey Shore”) have popularized the diet. Ketogenic diets are low on carbs and high on fat, which puts the body in a state of ketosis. Ketosis is a metabolic state that happens when your body doesn’t have enough carbohydrates for your cells to burn for energy. So, instead, it burns fat. The Keto diet is very effective at slimming your waistline, but does cause huge changes to your body that aren’t always positive. U.S. News & World Report says that changing the way your body is fueled from carbs to fat can lead to leg cramps, dehydration, brain fog, dizziness and more.
U.S. News & World Report: 3.1/5 Weight Loss | 1.5/5 Healthy
The philosophy of this diet is in the name. The Paleo diet encourages people to eat foods that would have been available to our Paleolithic ancestors. In case you need to brush up on your high school science, the Paleolithic era started 2.5 million years ago. Basically, with this diet you’re looking at meals that could either be hunted or gathered — lean meats, fish, vegetables, nuts and seeds. And, because farming hadn’t been developed yet in the Paleolithic era, Paleo dieters are expected to cut out foods that became popularized through farming like dairy products, legumes and grains, as well. Those who follow the Paleo diet believe that modern eating habits don’t suit our prehistoric genetic makeup, so we should return to Stone Age-approved meals.
U.S. News & World Report: 2.5/5 Weight Loss | 2.7/5 Healthy
Acid is the enemy of the Alkaline diet . The thought behind this diet is to cut out foods that cause your body to produce acid – including meat, wheat, refined sugar, processed foods, dairy, eggs, canned food, packaged snacks, caffeine and alcohol. You may be thinking: what else is there to eat? The Alkaline diet approves of most fruits and vegetables, nuts, legumes, soybeans and tofu. These are foods that are alkaline — in other words have a pH value of 7, which is neutral, or above. Foods with a pH value below 7 are acidic, and therefore a no-go. That said, there is no solid science to support that regulating the pH values of your food will change the overall pH balance of your body. It will do that naturally. However, in general, eating a lot of fruits and veggies and avoiding processed foods will make you lose weight.
U.S. News & World Report: 2.1/5 Weight Loss | 3.0/5 Healthy
A popular diet that spurred a New York Times bestselling book, Whole30 encourages people to eat foods with as few ingredients as possible, and all those ingredients should be substances you know and can pronounce. The program’s website claims that if you completely avoid foods such as alcohol, anything with added sugar, legumes, dairy and more, for 30 days, you will “eliminate cravings, restore a healthy metabolism, heal the digestive tract, reduce systemic inflammation, and discover how these foods are truly impacting how you look, how you feel, and your quality of life.” This program also advocates not stepping on a scale, to make the diet more about health than weight loss.
U.S. News & World Report: 2.4/5 on Weight Loss | 2.4/5 on Healthy
The Mediterranean diet advocates heart-healthy foods that are typically eaten in the Mediterranean. The diet guides people to eat plenty of plants and foods that are low on “bad” cholesterol, such as legumes, nuts, wheat, fruits and veggies. For example, in this diet, you replace butter with healthy fats like olive oil, salt with herbs and spices, and red meat with fish and poultry. Plus, it totally encourages a glass of red wine every now and then. In essence, you’re not avoiding fats and carbs, you’re just choosing the healthier versions.
U.S. News & World Report: 3.0/5 on Weight loss | 4.9/5 on Healthy
A healthy diet doesn’t require a complete life change. Instead, make smarter choices more often when shopping, cooking and eating.