Diets Ranked for Every Appetite

Kim FarmerA proper diet is key to living a long and healthy life, but it can also play a critical role in your performance. One of the most common analogies used in the health and fitness world is that the body is like a finely tuned engine and the fuel used to run the motor has a direct impact on how it performs. Unfortunately, new diets are invented on what seems like a daily basis, but with this new guide from the US News and World Report {}, we will shed some light on a topic to help you shed some pounds.

The following list of popular diets is rated from 20 experts including medical doctors and other health experts. Each diet is not only rated as a whole, but also how well it aligns with certain categories like heart health, vegetable-based, weight loss, or diabetes control. It is important to note is that every diet will invariably have pitfalls depending on your goals and reasons for dieting. For example, the DASH Diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension- scored the highest for Best All-Around Diet but was ranked in the middle for ease of commitment and expensiveness while the Atkins diet{} has shown promise for short-term weight lossÑweeks or monthsÑbut score poorly on long-term weight-loss and overall healthiness due to the high fat consumption..

The following list is a breakdown of the top 5 best overall diets for 2013:

#1 DASH Diet — Designed by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Foundation, the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stopping Hypertension) Diet ranks highest for its proven cardiovascular benefit of reducing high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease risk, and even resulting in significant weight loss when combined with a physical activity program. The diet focuses on consuming fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and low fat dairy while avoiding sweets, red meat, and salt. The highlight of this diet is that it doesnÕt cut out entire food groups making it easier to maintain than others.

#2 TLC Diet — Designed by the National Institutes of Health, the Theraputic Lifestyle Changes (TLC) Diet dramatically cuts back on saturated fatÑthe type of fat usually found from animal sources and is typically solid at room temperatures like that found in fatty meats or butter. By reducing saturated fat consumption, the dietary cholesterol intake is reduced making for a very heart-smart diet plan endorsed by the American Heart Association.

#3 Mayo Clinic Diet — Guided through a two step process, this book first focuses on weight loss, and then helps the reader keep the pounds away by helping them form healthy life habits like regular physical activity, and snacking on fruits and vegetables rather than cookies or chips. Because it follows a generally healthy diet and doesnÕt exclude any major food groups, it can be easier to follow and has strong cardiovascular and diabetes related benefits.

#4 Mediterranean Diet — Using principles established in diets from countries like Italy, Spain and France, this eating pattern focuses on little red meat, increased fish and seafood, fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, legumes, herbs and spices. Most appealing, it also makes room for a glass of red wine. Combined with exercise it is renowned for its ability to reduce the risk for diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.

#5 Weight Watchers Diet — This diet plan tied for third place overall, but came in first for weight loss, commercial diet plans, and easiest to follow. The basic principal applies points to foods based on how nutritious they are and how long they provide a feeling of fullness. Limit the amount of daily points and it leads to lost weight and a healthier lifestyle based off of making smart choices rather than temporary sacrifices.

Some of the remaining diets on the top 10 list include the Flexitarian diet, Volumetrics, Jenny Craig, Biggest Loser, and Ornish.

If you need a jump start to get started on the right track toward a healthy eating regimen, one of the above diets could work for you in the short term. Of course a long term plan is necessary for long term results, and creating healthy lifestyle habits is not always an easy task. The same principals of setting goals, making commitments, and creating accountability still apply with our without dieting.

Thanks for reading!

Contributors: Kim Farmer and Terry Hackney of Mile High Fitness. Mile High Fitness offers in-home personal training and corporate fitness solutions. or

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