What Are the Best Diets for Healthy Living?

SUMMARY: Confusion reigns over the top weight-loss diets, but a new U.S. News report provides detailed information and rankings on the nation’s 20 best healthy diets.
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Diets are a dime a dozen these days. You can find them in bookstores, on the internet, and every downtown seems to have a diet “center,” but which are the cream of the crop, with proven success, and that provide a healthy balance of food that allows you to drop the pounds you need?

U.S. News can tell you, as they checked the nutritional completeness and safety of 20 different weight-loss systems and came up with a ranking that can help you make an informed decision.

The popular news magazine assembled a panel of 22 experts in both nutrition and diet and developed seven categories of criteria to judge their overall health quotient. While we will give you the “skinny” on them here, you might want to head over and check out the detailed results of all twenty.  

Each diet was given a healthiness score, with the top score being a 5. Additional emphasis was given to the safety of the diet, because, let’s face it folks, a diet of lemon, water and honey may allow you to take off the pounds quickly, but you will suffer for it in the long run.

The panel gave high marks to the DASH Diet, TLC, Mediterranean, Mayo Clinic, Volumetrics and Weight Watchers. On the other end of the spectrum, with scores lower than a 3, were the Paleo Diet, Raw Food Diet and the Atkins Diet, all due to the fact that they are very restrictive in nature and make it difficult to get an adequate amount of all daily required nutrients.

"The ones that get high scores in safety and in nutritional value—they're very similar to each other," says Andrea Giancoli, a registered dietitian who serves on U.S. News's expert panel.

For the lowdown on the top-ranked diets, head to the next page.

The Actual Rankings – Page 2

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