The Winning Diets on All Counts!

Sandra Adamson Fryhofer, MD


February 09, 2012

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Hello. I'm Dr. Sandra Fryhofer. Welcome to Medicine Matters. The topic: What's the best diet? The answer may surprise you. Here's why it matters.

It's a new year. Time for resolutions, especially for all of our overweight Americans, and you know who you are. But you may not know how or where to start or what the best diet is. A new report in U.S. News and World Report has your answer.[1]

Twenty-two nutrition experts rated 25 diet plans, and the blue ribbon for the best diet overall goes to the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet. In second place overall was the Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes (TLC) diet, which is high in fiber and low in fat. It was developed by the National Institutes of Health National Cholesterol Education Program and is endorsed by the American Heart Association.

There's a 3-way tie for third: Weight Watchers, the Mayo Clinic diet, and the Mediterranean diet.

The report rates more than just nutrition. It also rates diets in other categories. Weight Watchers won in 3 categories: easiest to follow, best for weight loss, and best commercial plan. For diabetics, there's a 2-way tie: the DASH diet and the Biggest Loser diet. For heart health, the Ornish diet was first and TLC was second. Near the bottom was the protein-powered Dukan diet and in last place, the paleolithic diet. Apparently, the hunter/gatherer mentality did not appeal to the expert panel.

Each of the diets at the top has something in common. They are sensible. Have copies of this report in your office. Put them in the waiting room and in your examination rooms. It's a great way to start a conversation about weight loss, and don't forget exercise.

For Medicine Matters, I'm Dr. Sandra Fryhofer.


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