With the arrival of a new year, weight loss and dieting remain top resolutions for many people. To help, U.S. News & World Report has released its 2022 Best Diets lists, with assistance from Emory cardiologist Laurence Sperling, MD. For the past 11 years, Sperling has shared his expertise while ranking some of the most popular diets.
Sperling, the Katz Professor in Preventive Cardiology at Emory University School of Medicine and founder of the Emory Center for Heart Disease Prevention, has served on the panel of health experts for U.S. News & World Report since 2011. He and 26 other experts in diet, nutrition, obesity, diabetes and heart disease reviewed 40 diets, ranking them in seven categories.
“The top-ranking diets are considered easy to follow, nutritious, safe and effective for weight loss and preventing diabetes and heart disease,” says Sperling. “We all have individual goals for healthy eating as we consider our dietary patterns as a component of our lives. This list is a good resource to help guide the process of finding a diet that people can practice and, more importantly, maintain over time as part of a larger, healthier lifestyle.”
For the fifth consecutive year, the Mediterranean Diet ranked as the No. 1 Best Diets Overall. The Mediterranean Diet has an emphasis on fruits, vegetables, olive oil, fish and other healthy foods and is one of few diets showing benefits on cardiovascular disease outcomes. The Mediterranean Diet also claimed the top spot in five other lists: Best Diets for Healthy Eating, Easiest Diets to Follow, Best Diets for Diabetes, Best Plant-Based Diets and Best Heart-Healthy Diets (tied for No. 1).
The DASH Diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) and Flexitarian Diet (flexible and vegetarian most of the time, but does not completely eliminate meat) tied for No. 2 on the Best Diets Overall ranking list. The MIND Diet (aimed at preventing mental decline) took the No. 4 spot. The No. 5 spot had a four-way tie with the WW-Weight Watchers Diet (fast weight loss), the TLC Diet (Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes to reduce cholesterol as part of a heart-healthy eating regimen), the Volumetrics Diet (an approach to eating based on a food’s density) and the Mayo Clinic Diet (weight loss with aim to make healthy eating a lifelong habit).
WW-Weight Watchers Diet continues to rank high across multiple categories, once again taking the No. 1 spot for Best Weight-Loss Diets tied with the Flexitarian Diet and the Volumetrics Diet, and No.1 for Best Diet Programs tied with the Mayo Clinic Diet.
Sperling notes to watch out for “fad” diets and focus more on a healthy dietary pattern. “The word diet comes from the Greek derivation, ‘diaita’ which means a way of life,” he says.
As we are still in the midst of a global pandemic, Sperling says COVID-19 has had an impact on diets and general health and well-being.
“There have been concerning challenges for many regarding maintaining healthy behaviors during the pandemic,” says Sperling. “COVID-19 has had an impact on diets, weight, exercise, mental health and more. We are living during challenging times as we embark upon the third year of the pandemic, and being mindful of these challenges can help us reassess and rebalance our health priorities as we begin a new year.”
For more details on U.S. News & World Report’s Best Diets of 2022, please visit this link.