WASHINGTON — The Mediterranean Diet continued its reign atop the 2023 best diet rankings released Jan. 3 by US News & World Report while the TLC Diet improved the most from its 2022 position.
The Mediterranean Diet held onto the No. 1 best diet overall ranking for the sixth consecutive year. The diet emphasizes eating fruit, vegetables, olive oil and fish, and it focuses on diet quality rather than a single nutrient or food group. The Mediterranean Diet also was named the best diet for healthy eating and the best plant- based diet.
The Mediterranean Diet tied with the DASH Diet for best diets for bone and joint health and with the Flexitarian Diet and the TLC Diet for best family-friendly diets. Those two diets were new categories this year. The Flexitarian Diet, the TLC Diet, the DASH Diet and the Mediterranean Diet all tied for easiest diets to follow.
Other category winners were keto for best fast weight-loss diet, DASH for best heart-healthy diet and best diabetes diet, and WW for best diet program and best weight-loss diet.
The DASH Diet and the Flexitarian Diet tied at No. 2 for best diets overall.
The TLC Diet, in tying for easiest diet to follow, moved up 10 spots from its 2022 ranking. The TLC Diet also improved in best weight-loss diet, up 16 spots to No. 3, easiest diets for healthy eating, up one spot to No. 4, and best diets for diabetes, up 10 spots to No. 6.
TLC stands for therapeutic lifestyle changes. The National Institute of Health’s National Cholesterol Education Program created the diet as a way to reduce cholesterol. Consumers following the diet eat vegetables, fruit, bread, cereal, pasta and lean meats.
“TLC is a non-pharmacologic strategy for reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and therefore does not require dependence on prescription medications for most people, nor does it require making separate meals for you and the rest of your family,” said Luis Rustveld, PhD, a registered dietitian and assistant professor in the department of family and community medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. “Adherence to the TLC Diet also does not require buying special foods or eliminating the foods you like. The emphasis is on making product comparisons by reading food labels and choosing healthier versions of the foods you like.”
Over 30 nutritionists, doctors and epidemiologists examined 24 diets to develop the rankings. They noted consumers are more interested in a holistic approach to their diets. Consumers are looking for diets that include eating patterns for family members of all ages to eat meals together with little or no modification. Increasingly, consumers are choosing diets with built-in community and group support, such as the Noom Diet, which ranked No. 11 overall, and WW, which ranked No. 8 overall.