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U.S. News Best Diets: How We Rated 41 Eating Plans

vegan food

DIETS COME AND GO, teasing and tempting with dreams of that elusive hot body. Eat what you want! Pounds melt away overnight! The reality, as frustrated dieters know well, is that dieting is hard, and frankly, most diets don’t work. Some can even threaten your health. And digging out the truth about dieting, let alone deciphering whether particular plans live up to the hype, is laborious enough to burn off a pound or two by itself.

Best Diets 2019 cuts through the clutter of claims. Now in its ninth year, Best Diets delivers the facts about and ranks 41 diets on a range of levels, from their heart healthiness to their likelihood to help you lose weight.

Many of the diets, like WW (Weight Watchers), are household names, while others, like the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet, should be. To create the the latest edition of the rankings, U.S. News editors and reporters spent months winnowing potential additions to our diet roster and then mining medical journals, government reports and other resources to create in-depth profiles for those that made the cut.

Each profile explains how the diet works, determines whether its claims add up or fall short, scrutinizes it for possible health risks – and reveals what it’s like to live on the diet, not just read about it.

[See: How to Stop Emotional Eating.]

A panel of nationally recognized experts in diet, nutrition, obesity, food psychology, diabetes and heart disease reviewed our profiles, added their own fact-finding and rated each diet in seven categories: how easy it is to follow, its ability to produce short-term and long-term weight loss, its nutritional completeness, its safety and its potential for preventing and managing diabetes and heart disease. We also asked the panelists to let us know about aspects of each diet they particularly liked or disliked and to weigh in with tidbits of advice that someone considering a particular diet should know.

After every diet received robust scrutiny, we converted the experts’ ratings to scores and stars from 5 (highest) to 1 (lowest). We then used those scores to construct nine sets of Best Diets rankings, which are as follows:

  • Best Diets Overallcombines panelists’ ratings in all seven categories. All categories were not equally weighted. Short-term and long-term weight loss were combined, with long-term ratings getting twice the weight. Why? Quick results are important after the holidays or when summer looms, but a diet’s true test is whether it can be sustained for years. That’s especially the case for those who are overweight or obese; losing as little as 5 percent of body weight can dramatically reduce the risk of chronic illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease. And safety was double-counted, because no diet should be dangerous.
  • Best Commercial Diets uses the same approach to rank 14 structured diet programs that require a participation fee or promote the use of branded food or nutritional products.
  • Best Weight-Loss Diets was generated by combining short-term and long-term weight-loss ratings, weighting both equally. Some dieters want to drop pounds fast, while others, looking years ahead, are aiming for slow and steady. Equal weighting accepts both goals as worthy.
  • Best Diets for Healthy Eating combines nutritional completeness and safety ratings, giving twice the weight to safety. A healthy diet should provide sufficient calories and not fall seriously short on important nutrients or entire food groups.
  • Easiest Diets to Follow represents panelists’ averaged judgments about each diet’s taste appeal, ease of initial adjustment, ability to keep dieters from feeling hungry and imposition of special requirements.

What Makes a Diet Easy to Follow?

U.S. News rankings rate how easy 41 diets are to follow. How much weight should you give this?

Angela HauptJan. 2, 2019

  • Best Plant-Based Diets uses the same approach as Best Diets Overall to rank 12 plans that emphasize minimally processed foods from plants.

In all nine rankings, scores are rounded to one decimal place; diets with the same scores are ordered alphabetically.

In addition to the rankings, ratings in all seven categories are displayed for each diet as 1 to 5 stars on individual profile pages.

To ward off possible bias, each panelist provided information indicating clear or apparent conflicts of interest, like a paid consulting relationship with a company marketing a particular diet. In such cases, panelists did not rate the diet. For commercial programs offering a range of tracks that may target specific groups, such as pregnant women or those with diabetes, U.S. News selected the most mainstream version.

[See: 7 Exercises That Trainers Wouldn’t Be Caught Dead Doing.]

A vexing challenge faced us early on. To rate the diets, experts needed more than just labels like “short-term weight loss” and “health risk,” which can mean different things to different researchers. What should the standard be for rating nutritional soundness? What constitutes a health risk? Aided by the panelists and other experts, we settled on the following definitions to use in rating the diets:

  • Short-term weight loss. Likelihood of losing significant weight during the first 12 months, based on available evidence (5 = extremely effective, 4 = very effective, 3 = moderately effective, 2 = minimally effective, 1 = ineffective).
  • Long-term weight loss. Likelihood of maintaining significant weight loss for two years or more, based on available evidence (5 = extremely effective, 4 = very effective, 3 = moderately effective, 2 = minimally effective, 1 = ineffective).
  • Diabetes. Effectiveness for preventing diabetes or as a maintenance diet for diabetics (5 = extremely effective, 4 = very effective, 3 = moderately effective, 2 = minimally effective, 1 = ineffective).
  • Heart. Effectiveness for cardiovascular disease prevention and as risk-reducing regimen for heart patients (5 = extremely effective, 4 = very effective, 3 = moderately effective, 2 = minimally effective, 1 = ineffective).
  • Ease of compliance. Based on initial adjustment, satiety (a feeling of fullness so that you’ll stop eating), taste appeal, special requirements (5 = extremely easy, 4 = very easy, 3 = moderately easy, 2 = somewhat difficult, 1 = extremely difficult).
  • Nutritional completeness. Based on conformance with the federal government’s 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, a widely accepted nutritional benchmark (5 = extremely complete, 4 = very complete, 3 = moderately complete, 2 = somewhat complete, 1 = extremely incomplete).
  • Health risks. Including malnourishment, specific nutrient concerns, overly rapid weight loss, contraindications for certain populations or existing conditions, etc. (5 = extremely safe, 4 = very safe, 3 = moderately safe, 2 = somewhat unsafe, 1 = extremely unsafe).

We could not assign scores to the cost of a plan, nor to exercise. Even dieters buying prepackaged meals from commercial programs have to shop for at least some food, and individual shopping habits and preferences, not to mention dining out, will heavily determine any dieter’s total expense. Exercise gets serious attention in some diets and lip service in others, but the primary focus of a diet, after all, is food. Whether to exercise, how and how much is a lifestyle decision beyond the scope of a mere diet.

[See: 8 Weird Ways Obesity Makes You Sick.]

What’s next for Best Diets? We plan to scrutinize more eating plans and give dieters a way to plug in their personal preferences and requirements so they can zero in on diets that have the best chance of working for them. With diets, one size never fits all.

Organic online grocer Thrive Market gets into the wine business

Thrive Market, the membership-based organic online grocer, is getting into the wine business.

Starting today, Thrive Market will offer six- and 12-bottle bundles of organic wines, all priced at $18 per bottle or less, to the 38 states that allow wine shipments.

Nick Green, Thrive Market’s CEO and co-founder, says the business rationale for selling wine was simple. In a survey of its customers, Thrive Market found that 75% drink wine twice per week or more, indicating a potential demand. Finding good-tasting, affordable organic wines was another matter. So was finding a way to ship the wine that fit Thrive Market’s requirements for environmental friendliness.

Organic wine selection

To select the wines, Thrive Market’s master sommelier Josh Nadel tested hundreds of wines from around the world, Green says. The result was an initial selection of six red, six white and four rosé wines—mostly from Europe—that will be sold in assortments based on region or price. Many of these wines haven’t been imported to the U.S. before and are from small producers, Green says.RESEARCH & ANALYSISADD TO FAVORITES

But wait, isn’t wine generally natural, even without being organic? Not so, Green says. Winemakers routinely add fruit flavorings, stabilizers, preservatives or sugar to balance the flavor profile of a vintage and improve its shelf life. And, because alcohol is not regulated the same as most other food and beverage products, he says, those ingredients don’t have to be listed on the label. In all, Green says, more than 70 kinds of additives are used in the wine business.ADVERTISEMENT

For wine to be legally sold as organic, all grapes and other agricultural ingredients (including yeast, if commercially available) must be certified organic, except those on the the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances, according to the United States Department of Agriculture. Non-agricultural ingredients must be specifically allowed on the National List and may not exceed a combined 5% of the total product, excluding salt and water. Also, sulfites may not be added. Like all organic products, organic wine also must be produced without excluded methods (such as genetic engineering), ionizing radiation or sewage sludge and under the oversight of an organic certifying agent.

Logistical challenges

The U.S. organic food market hit a record $45.2 billion in sales in 2017, an increase of 6.4%, according to the Organic Trade Association’s 2018 Organic Industry Survey released in May.

Green predicts Thrive Market’s annual revenue from wine sales could reach $10 million or more within a year. But, the expansion into wine selling was not as simple as just adding another product line.

“From a logistics standpoint, it certainly was a challenge,” Green says. For one thing, he says, the company wanted to find ways to ship the wine that did not require a lot of non-sustainable foam packaging to protect the bottles from breaking in transit. He says Thrive Market found a solution that uses post-consumer recycled materials. Thrive Market also was able to find a logistics company that already had the licenses required to ship wine to the states that allow it.

Green says the wine is sold in assortments, rather than by the bottle, to keep prices down for consumers and make the shipping more environmentally friendly. Those logistics challenges are similar to the ones Thrive Market faced earlier this year when it started selling meat and seafood for the first time.ADVERTISEMENTNEWSADD TO FAVORITESThrive Market wants to bring sustainably sourced meat and seafood to the masses

Blood Pressure Protocol

Are you suffer from blood pressure problems? Do you know high blood pressure is known for Silent Killer? This blood pressure can cause serious adverse and devastating diseases. If you are facing the same problem, then here is the best solution for your Blood Pressure Problem that is called Blood Pressure Protocol created by Dr. Channing & David Riley.

This is an amazing program to achieve a remarkable result, using 100% natural and completely safe homemade protocol, which does not require any kind of medication. It is actually a combination of proved method and science, in which the functions are gathered into one comprehensive lifestyle program.

What is the Blood Pressure Protocol?

Dr Channing’s Blood Pressure Protocol supplies a simple and easy method to follow, which is based on a bizarre treatment method developed by a cardiologist and hypertension specialist who has spent years in a small study and uncontacted tribe living deep in the Amazon forest, and it was already used to help 23.867 people of all ages to lower their blood pressure quickly, easily and safely.

Blood Pressure Protocol will show you a quick and proven way for you to significantly lower your blood pressure, transform your health and well-being, and possibly add years and even decades to your life. So put every plan you have on hold for several minutes and be comfortable, because it is absolutely essential to your current and future health.


How Does Blood Pressure Protocol Work?

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What Will You Learn From The Blood Pressure Protocol?

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  • The Protocol of blood pressure from Dr. Channing is a natural, safe and scientifically proven program to lower blood pressure at home.
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Blood pressure Protocol is a natural treatment plan and side-effect free 100% that would allow everyone, regardless of age or sex, to lower blood pressure quick and easy and return to optimal health some days. And most importantly, eliminate the need for medication in blood pressure completely. Thousands of men and women already use this protocol.

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