Star ratings reflect scores of 1 to 5 assigned to the Anti-Inflammatory diet in seven categories by nutritionists, specialists in diabetes and heart disease, and other diet experts on a ratings panel assembled by U.S. News. (See our Best Diets methodology.) Although experts acknowledge the health benefits of this diet and the Mediterranean eating approach on which it’s based, they weren’t impressed with its ability to deliver long- or short-term weight loss, and deemed the plan difficult to follow. “It’s an expensive, complicated diet,” one expert warned. “It involves a lot of work, food preparation, and the elimination of many foods.” Below are ratings in all categories and how the experts’ opinions broke down.
Short-Term Weight Loss
The Anti-Inflammatory diet fell toward the bottom of the short-term weight loss category, receiving 2.6 stars. Experts were concerned about the daily calories, which sometimes surpassed 2,000. “For those needing to lose weight, some guidance to a lower total calorie intake is necessary,” one said.
Long-Term Weight Loss
The diet received a below-average 2.6 out of 5 stars. If you want to lose weight and keep it off for at least two years, look elsewhere. Without applying calorie controls, experts said dieters would have a difficult time losing weight on this plan.
Easy to Follow
Experts warned that the Anti-Inflammatory diet is unnecessarily “fancy” and complicated. A long list of supplements, coupled with conditions like drinking filtered water and sticking to organic foods, makes it challenging to stick to. The diet scored 2.7 stars in this category, and one expert said “it’s hard to sustain unless patients are very motivated and well-educated.”
The Anti-Inflammatory diet earned an average 3.4 stars for nutritional completeness. Although it allows for a wide variety of whole, unprocessed foods, experts were concerned that “it’s below target for some nutrients,” such as potassium and calcium.
The diet earned nearly 4 out of 5 stars, but still landed in the middle of the pack. Experts worried about nutrition imbalances, such as a higher-than-usual sodium intake. “It’s way too high in fat and sodium,” one expert said.
The Anti-Inflammatory diet scored a respectable 3.4 stars for diabetes control and prevention. Still, some experts noted that diabetes patients should exercise additional caution. One noted that the protein content is “on the high side” for people with diabetes.
For Heart Health
The Anti-Inflammatory diet, which is based on the heart-healthy principles of the Mediterranean diet, earned 3.6 stars for heart health, above the average score of 3.2 stars. The program emphasizes a steady supply of omega-3 fatty acids, and research suggests these protect against heart disease.
Last updated by Rachel Pomerance | January 04, 2013