Paleo ranks last among ‘best diets’
U S News & World Report has released its 2014 “Best Diets” list and the well-known Paleo diet found itself tied for last place.
Essentially a low-carb diet, Paleo places emphasis on anything available prior to the agricultural revolution. The concept is simple: “If the cavemen didn’t eat it, you shouldn’t either,” the magazine says.
While popular (“Paleo” was the most searched diet term on Google in 2013), the “caveman diet” lacks research proving any cardiovascular health and weight loss benefits, and is too restrictive for people to follow long term, according to U.S. News’ experts.
Additionally, Paleo’s elimination of dairy and grains limits some essential nutrients, says Mary Carroll, a registered dietitian at Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville, Ill.
“Your body needs a wide variety of foods to function optimally,” Carroll says. “Eliminating major food groups is going to make it difficult to maintain a well-balanced diet.”
Topping the list for the fourth year in a row was the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) Eating Plan. Unlike many diets, DASH doesn’t cut out certain foods and instead focuses on limiting daily sodium intake.
Second on the best overall list was the Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes Diet, followed by the Mayo Clinic Diet, the Mediterranean Diet and Weight Watchers – all tied for third place.
The annual rankings come from a panel of health experts, including nutritionists and physicians, who score each diet for short- and long-term weight loss, ease of compliance, safety and nutrition. Diets are also broken down into eight categories, including best weight-loss diets, best diabetes diets and easiest diets to follow.
“Best Diets 2014 is designed to help consumers identify a diet that suits their specific needs, whether they are trying to lose weight, control a chronic disease or achieve a healthier lifestyle overall,” said Angela Haupt, health & wellness editor for U.S. News, in a news release.
For the full list, visit U.S. News & World Report’s Best Diets Rankings.
About the Author
health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Aurora Health sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.