Every year, many new fad diets hit the health and wellness scene. It’s always interesting to observe which ones tend to stick around and which ones disappear into the abyss. According to U.S. News and World Report, here are the best and worst diets of 2017, based on effectiveness, ease of use, and health quotient:
While the diet was created to prevent hypertension, it also reportedly has a great effect on the person’s waistline. The diet focuses on ease of use, which is probably one of the reasons it’s so popular with its adopters. The rules? Eat more of the things you’ve always been told to eat—fruits, veggies, and whole grains—and less of the things you’re supposed to avoid, like red meat and sweets.
This diet is decades old, but still near the top of the list because of its focus on simplicity and its natural deliciousness. It’s generally accepted that the folks in countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea live longer and have a lower incidence of cancer and cardiovascular ailments, and that this can at least in part be attributed to their diets. There is no specific Mediterranean diet, per se, because Italian food is very different from Greek food, which is very different from Turkish food. The elements these diets share is an emphasis on fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, legumes, olive oil, fish and other lean meats.
Though its stated goal is to stave off Alzheimer’s by focusing on brain-healthy foods, this is another diet that has turned out to have a positive effect on a person’s whole body. The MIND diet takes the two proven diets above, the DASH and the Mediterranean, and focuses on the brain-healthy foods in each. The result? Eat green leafy vegetables in particular, as well as all other vegetables, nuts, berries, beans, whole grains, fish, poultry, olive oil and wine. Avoid red meats, butter and stick margarine, cheeses, pastries and sweets, and fried or fast food.
WORST (though it’s worth mentioning that these are still ranked in the top 38—many worse diets didn’t make the rankings):
This diet is good in theory, asking participants to cut out every harmful food type for 30 days, at which point they can return to eating as they previously did. The problem? The diet is too strict, forbidding any cheating and requiring the person to start the 30 days over after any slips.
This diet claims you’ll lose up to 10 pounds within the first week, and then continue to lose 2 to 4 pounds a week until you reach your goal weight. The most confusing part? All this is supposed to happen while eating as much as you want (of the approved foods, of course). This diet focuses on upping your protein intake, making the case that if you eat enough protein, the rest will take care of itself.
This diet argues for a return to the pre-civilization diet that our hunter-gatherer ancestors ate—mostly meat, nuts, and plants. Many experts take issue with this diet’s exclusion of entire food groups such as dairy and grains, avoidance of which is hard in modern life.
Have an experience with one of these diets, or a different one you’d like to nominate for the list of best or worst? Let us know!