Washington, D.C. – Jan. 4, 2017 – U.S. News & World Report, the global authority in rankings and consumer advice, today released its annual assessment of the year’s Best Diets to help the estimated 45 million Americans who diet each year – and millions more globally – achieve healthier lifestyles.

For the seventh year in a row, the DASH diet has been rated Best Diet Overall, followed by the Mediterranean diet, up from fourth place last year. The MIND diet second last year, comes in third.

The DASH diet is most effective for those who have high blood pressure. The Mediterranean diet is most effective for weight loss, and the MIND diet is helping to reduce cognitive decline.

These diets fall within accepted ranges for the amount of protein, carbs, fat and other nutrients they provide.

DASH DIET (high blood pressure)

Pros & Cons
• Heart healthy
• Nutritionally sound
• Lots of grunt work
• Somewhat pricey

The aim: Preventing and lowering high blood pressure (hypertension).

The claim: A healthy eating pattern is key to deflating high blood pressure – and it may not hurt your waistline, either.

The theory: Nutrients like potassium, calcium, protein and fiber are crucial to fending off or fighting high blood pressure.

You don’t have to track each one, though. Just emphasize the foods you have always been told to eat (fruits, veggies, whole grains, lean protein and low-fat dairy), while shunning those we’ve grown to love (calorie- and fat-laden sweets and red meat). Top it all off by cutting back on salt, and voila!


Pros & Cons
• Nutritionally sound
• Diverse foods and flavors
• Lots of grunt work
• Moderately pricey

The aim: May include weight loss, heart and brain health, cancer prevention, and diabetes prevention and control.

The claim: You’ll lose weight, keep it off and avoid a host of chronic diseases.

The theory: It’s generally accepted that the folks in countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea live longer and suffer less than most Americans from cancer and cardiovascular ailments. The not-so-surprising secret is an active lifestyle, weight control, and a diet low in red meat, sugar and saturated fat, while high in produce, nuts and other healthful foods.

MIND DIET (reducing cognitive decline)

Pros & Cons
• Blends two proven healthy diets
• May boost brain power
• Details not fleshed out
• Recipes, resources lacking

The aim: Preventing Alzheimer’s disease with brain-healthy foods.

The claim: You may lower your risk of mental decline with this new hybrid of two balanced, heart-healthy diets– even without rigidly sticking to it – early research suggests.

The theory: The MIND diet takes two proven diets DASH and Mediterranean– and zeroes in on the foods in each that specifically affect brain health.

The emphasis is on eating from 10 brain-healthy food groups: green leafy vegetables in particular, all other vegetables, nuts, berries, beans, whole grains, fish, poultry, olive oil and wine.

Meanwhile, MIND adherents avoid foods from the five unhealthy groups: red meats, butter and stick margarine, cheeses, pastries and sweets, and fried or fast food.

The study found the MIND diet lowered Alzheimer’s risk by about 35 percent for people who followed it moderately well and up to 53 percent for those who adhered to it rigorously.