Many people start diets with a specific purpose in mind – some want to lose weight or inches while others are seeking healthier lifestyles to combat hypertension or cholesterol issues. You will find many diets that claim to meet your needs but the truth is that most of these are crash or fad diets that require you to drastically change the way you eat. Such crash diets rarely support long-term weight loss or health gains and often must be supported with a probiotic supplement or other weight loss boosters.

Using input from a team of health experts, U.S. News and World Report has created a list of the best diets for anyone to follow. The panel individually evaluated and ranked 40 diets that make up the best diets in 2018. In order to be considered one of the best diets, the entries had to rank high in a number of criteria:

  • fairly easily to follow
  • safe and nutritious
  • effective against weight loss
  • helped prevent heart ailments and diabetes

After rigorously evaluating the top trendy diets in the past years, the ranking of best diets stands as follows as of January 2018:

Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH)

Overall score – 4.1/5

Known for effectively combating high blood pressure, the DASH diet is actually endorsed by the United States government for being nutritionally complete and safe. It is also recommended for its capacity to prevent or control conditions like diabetes.

This diet requires you to eat fruits, whole grains, vegetables, low-fat dairy, and lean protein while avoiding full-fat dairy items, fatty meats, beverages and sweets with high sugar content and tropical oils. You also have to reduce your salt intake as much as possible. At least 15 minutes of walking twice a day is recommended, especially if your goal is to lose weight with this diet.

Mediterranean Diet

Overall score – 4.1/5

This is a practical diet that focuses on increasing the amount of fresh fruits, fish, vegetables, and olive oil you consume. Along with an active lifestyle, a diet that is low in red meat, saturated fats, and sugar can make a huge difference to your overall health. This diet claims to help you lose weight and maintain the reduced weight so you avoid long-term diseases, boost heart and brain health, and prevent illnesses like cancer and diabetes.

Flexitarian Diet

Overall score – 4/5

Next in line, the Flexitarian diet focuses on making smart and healthy food choices. Developed by registered dietitian D. B. Blatner, this flexible diet is for those who want to make the move to vegetarianism but do not want to give up on meat completely.

Ranked as one of the easiest diets to follow, the Flexitarian requires you to add other ‘new meats’ to your diet in the form of eggs, tofu, nuts, lentils, beans, and other protein-rich foods. If you do end up eating meat once in a while, it does not set you back.

Weight Watchers Diet

Overall score – 3.9/5

With the aim of helping you lose weight while improving overall health, this diet claims that you could drop about two pounds per week if you follow it. Instead of counting calories, this diet has you watching the points you rack up.

Every beverage and food item is assigned certain SmartPoints value based on nutritional density. The new Freestyle program introduced in 2017 marks eggs, whole beans, over 50 varieties of fish and peas as zero-point foods. Weight Watchers is a formal dieting system that includes support, weekly meetings, coaching sessions, online tools, and more, depending on your membership plan.


Overall score – 3.8/5

A hybrid version of the DASH and Mediterranean diet, MIND focuses primarily on the brain-related parts of both diets. The MIND diet has slipped down one spot since 2017. As per this diet, you should focus on eating all food items that help your brain function better and prevent conditions like Alzheimer’s and cognitive decline.

Some of the foods you are encouraged to eat include berries, nuts, olive oil, leafy vegetables, whole grains, poultry, wine, fish, etc. Five unhealthy foods to be avoided are butter and stick margarine, pastries and sweets, fried foods, cheeses, and red meat.

TLC Diet

Overall score – 3.8/5

TLC is an acronym for ‘therapeutic lifestyle changes’. This diet focuses on one single objective and that is lowering your cholesterol. It claims to help reduce bad LDL levels by 8-10% in a month and a half. The key components of this diet are drastically reducing saturated fat to less than 7% of your daily calorie intake.

This means ditching foods like high-fat dairy, fatty meats, poultry with skin, butter, etc. On TLC, you will be eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, fish, poultry without skin, low-fat dairy products, etc.

Volumetrics Diet

Overall score – 3.8/5

The sole aim of the Volumetrics diet is to help you lose weight, and it claims to help you cut a pound or two per in a single week. This diet focuses on the volume and energy density of food items. By eating high volumes of foods that are low in calories, you will feel fuller while still dropping pounds. This diet encourages you to eat low-density foods like fruits and vegetables, grains, low-fat meat, non-fat milk, legumes, mixed dishes like spaghetti, etc.

Get Started

Choosing the right diet for you starts with identifying your health goals and selecting a diet to help you reach them. Prior to starting any diet, it is recommended that you consult with your doctor or a registered nutritionist to determine the best diet plan for your lifestyle. Keep in mind that along with any diet it is recommended that you support your gut health and metabolism with a high-quality probiotic supplements.