Best Diets for 2014

Laura McMullen
US News & World ReviewJanuary 8, 2014

Resolving to shed weight or eat better? U.S. News can help. Today, U.S News & World Report released the fourth annual Best Diets rankings - a collection of 32 in-depth diet analyses, reviewed and rated by a panel of nutrition and health experts.

The panel deemed the DASH diet the best overall, as it outscored most other plans in its healthiness and likelihood to ward off diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. And once again, panelists ranked Weight Watchers the best diet for weight loss, as well as the easiest diet to follow and the top diet among commercial plans.

How did other popular diets fare? The Mediterranean diet, which received attention in 2013 for boosting heart health, claimed the No. 1 spot among Plant-Based Diets and tied for the No. 3 among Best Diets Overall, behind DASH and TLC Diet (No. 2). The Vegetarian (No. 11) and Vegan (No. 18) diets both fell in the middle of the pack among all diets, while Paleo diet—the most Google-searched plan of 2013—tied for last place with the Dukan Diet.

When Dieting and Exercise Hurt You

New Diets That Made the List

As a fresh spin on the rankings, U.S. News added three new diets to the 2014 edition: The Fast Diet, a plan that calls for severe calorie slashing two days a week; Acid Alkaline Diet, a plan that aims to help control your body's pH level through the foods you eat; and the Spark Solution, a low-calorie plan with structured exercise created by the Spark People online community. While none of the new plans dazzled the expert panelists, Spark Solution did snatch the No. 13 spot among all diets, tying with Slim Fast and Anti-Inflammatory Diet. The Acid Alkaline and Fast diets, however, landed toward the bottom of the rankings, at No. 27 and 28, respectively.

This year, U.S. News also added two new extensive profiles for the gluten-free diet and Low FODMAP diet. However, these plans weren't ranked, given their specific aim for digestive health. These are two of the six diets that U.S. News profiles but does not rank, such as Master Cleanse and the Cookie Diet.

Hungry for more information about Best Diets? There's plenty to learn. Navigate through the Best Diets home page on usnews.com to find recipe resources, dos and don'ts, expert reviews, scientific studies and more about each diet—not to mention, of course, the rankings. To learn more about how the rankings were generated, check out our in-depth methodology.

Before blindly jumping into a juice cleanse or setting the lofty (but elusive) goal to simply "eat better," do your homework. We've done most of the research for you, so click around to find the best plan for you. This way, you'll be more likely to actually commit to your goal and integrate the healthy diet changes into your lifestyle, so by 2015 you can move onto that "save money" resolution.

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