Top ranked diets of 2021: What works, what doesn’t, according to experts

The New Year often serves as a wake-up call for people wanting to eat healthier after spending the holiday months indulging in some of their favorite foods.

With that in mind, the News and World Report” href=”https://health.usnews.com/best-diet” rel=”nofollow noopener” target=”_blank”>U.S. News and World Report had an expert panel review more than 40 eating plans and then ranked the 20 best diets of 2021 to help people “lose weight and improve your overall health.” In the top spot was the Mediterranean diet, following by the DASH and Flexitarian diets in a tie for spot No. 2, followed by the WW, keto and Dukan diets.

Yahoo Life spoke with nutrition experts about the top-ranked eating plans — with some expressing surprise over how some diets made the cut.

The heart-healthy Mediterranean diet, high in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, nuts, seeds, and olive oil, was rated the No. 1 diet of 2021. (Photo: Getty Images)

The heart-healthy Mediterranean diet, high in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, nuts, seeds, and olive oil, was rated the No. 1 diet of 2021. (Photo: Getty Images)

Mediterranean diet

This heart-healthy, plant-focused eating plan was ranked as the best overall diet. The Mediterranean diet is high in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds, and olive oil, according to the Mayo Clinic. Fish, poultry, eggs, and beans are eaten on a weekly basis along with a moderate amount of dairy products, while red meat is limited. Unlike many diets, red wine is also allowed, in moderation.

The eating plan is designed to help stabilize blood sugar, improve cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and reduce heart disease risk, according to MedlinePlus, but some people lose weight on the Mediterranean diet by making healthier food choices.

Leah Groppo, a clinical dietician with Stanford Health Care, is not surprised this healthy eating plan landed on top, telling Yahoo Life, that “there are decades of research around this diet.” Groppo adds: “I love the idea of eating more fruits,

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