Top 3 best diets

National panel of experts identifies some of the best plans


Ever stepped on a scale, and hated the result? Then chances are good you've been on a diet.

Laurence Sperling, MD, is a Preventive Cardiologist at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta and on a national panel of health experts rating the best diets of 2015 based on weight loss, diabetes prevention, heart health, nutrition and long-term compliance.  

"Beware of fad diets, because they are setting you up for failure," he warned. "If you can follow a way of living the majority of the time, those dietary patterns that are most healthy can have sustainable benefits."

The best diet overall was the DASH diet: Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. It emphasizes fresh fruit and vegetables, low fat dairy and foods low in sodium and high in potassium. 

"It's as effective as a blood pressure pill," Sperling said.

The panel also gave high marks to the TLC diet: Therapeutic Lifestyle Change, and the Mayo Clinic diet. Sperling says the best diets have things in common like lots of fruits and vegetables, low-fat animal protein and very little processed food. So that way, "You're not eating the same thing all the time," he explained. Why? Boredom is one of the biggest reasons diets fail.

Sperling and his colleagues on the national panel found that the Ornish diet, a very low-fat plan was great for heart health, but that it was hard for most people to stay with over a long period of time. The popular Paleo diet did not rank in the panel's top 10. The findings were published in the U.S. News & World Report.