For millions of people, changing eating habits for the better will near the top of the list of New Year's Resolution lists. Because of new research regarding the Mediterranean diet, such as findings that it could lower the risk of dementia and aggressive prostate cancer, it took the lead for 2019.
The diet, named for the region that includes Norway, Iceland, Finland, Denmark and Sweden, is an example of a growing interest in diets followed by some of the healthiest people in the world, according to Angela Haupt, assistant managing editor of health at U.S. News and World Report.
As far as the rest of the ranking goes, the DASH diet finished in second, followed by the flexitarian diet (eating mostly plant-based foods but meat and other animal products in moderation), the MIND diet (a mix between DASH and Mediterranean targeted toward brain health) and Weight Watchers.
Although the popular Keto diet ranked high for fast weight loss, it landed way down on the Best Diets list - tying for number 38.
"I think that diets that don't differentiate between healthy and unhealthy fats, over time are ultimately an unhealthy approach to losing weight", Heller said.
A 2018 study found the DASH diet can reduce the risk of depression later in life.
This plant-heavy diet focuses on adding five food groups - "new meat", fruits and vegetables, whole grains, dairy and sugar and spices - to your diet, instead of taking foods away.
The eating plan features a wide variety of options, including fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, poultry, and fish.
The Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay (MIND) diet, ranked five previous year, is a hybrid of the top-rated DASH and Mediterranean diets.
If you're gearing up to eat healthier this year, consider including whole grains, seafood, and healthy fats in your diet.
Weight Watchers - now called WW - was fourth.
That doesn't sound so bad, but why was it named the best of the bunch?
The WW Freestyle program was launched in 2017 and builds off the company's signature SmartPoints system, which assigns every food and beverage a point value, based on its nutrition. The plan also involves in-person meetings or online chats created to support those in the program and keep them accountable.