Best Diets Overall

U.S. News evaluated and ranked the 32 diets below with input from a panel of health experts. To be top-rated, a diet had to be relatively easy to follow, nutritious, safe and effective for weight loss and against diabetes and heart disease. The government-endorsed Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) snagged the top spot.

#1

DASH Diet

(4.1 out of 5.0)

DASH Diet recipes | DASH Diet reviews

DASH was developed to fight high blood pressure, not as an all-purpose diet. But it certainly looked like an all-star to our panel of experts, who gave it high marks for its nutritional completeness, safety, ability to prevent or control diabetes, and role in supporting heart health. Though obscure, it beat out a field full of better-known diets.

How the DASH Diet works

#2

TLC Diet

(4.0 out of 5.0)

TLC Diet recipes | TLC Diet reviews

Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes, or TLC, is a very solid diet plan created by the National Institutes of Health. It has no major weaknesses, and it’s particularly good at promoting cardiovascular health. One expert described it as a “very healthful, complete, safe diet.” But it requires a “do-it-yourself” approach, in contrast to the hand-holding provided by some commercial diets.

How the TLC Diet works

#3

Mayo Clinic Diet

(3.9 out of 5.0)

Mayo Clinic Diet recipes | Mayo Clinic Diet reviews

This is the Mayo Clinic’s take on how to make healthy eating a lifelong habit. It earned especially high ratings from our experts for its nutrition and safety and as a tool against diabetes. Experts found it moderately effective for weight loss.

How the Mayo Clinic Diet works

#3

Mediterranean Diet

(3.9 out of 5.0)

Mediterranean Diet recipes | Mediterranean Diet reviews

With its emphasis on fruits and vegetables, olive oil, fish, and other healthy fare, the Mediterranean diet is eminently sensible. And experts’ assessments of it were resoundingly positive, giving this diet an edge over many competitors.

How the Mediterranean Diet works

#3

Weight Watchers

(3.9 out of 5.0)

Weight Watchers recipes | Weight Watchers reviews

Weight Watchers is a smart, effective diet. It surpassed other commercial diet plans in multiple areas, including short- and long-term weight loss and how easy it is to follow. It’s also nutritionally sound and safe, according to experts. Among its pluses: An emphasis on group support, lots of fruits and vegetables, and room for occasional indulgences.

How the Weight Watchers Diet works

#6

Flexitarian Diet

(3.8 out of 5.0)

Flexitarian Diet recipes | Flexitarian Diet reviews

The Flexitarian diet, which emphasizes fruits, veggies, whole grains, and plant-based protein, is a smart and healthy choice. It outperformed many of its competitors, with particularly high scores in nutritional completeness, easiness to follow, and long-term weight loss. One panelist noted that this diet is “a nice approach that could work for the whole family,” and another described it as a “very good” plan.

How the Flexitarian Diet works

#6

Volumetrics

(3.8 out of 5.0)

Volumetrics recipes | Volumetrics reviews

Volumetrics outperformed its competitors in many categories. It earned particularly high marks for being safe and nutritious, and experts said it could have a positive effect on heart health and diabetes. “This is an eating plan that everyone can benefit from,” one expert said.

How the Volumetrics Diet works

#8

Jenny Craig

(3.7 out of 5.0)

Jenny Craig recipes | Jenny Craig reviews

Jenny Craig drew praise from experts for being easy to follow, nutritionally complete and safe, and for offering dieters emotional support. But these experts were lukewarm about its potential to bolster heart health or help diabetics. Experts also noted that Jenny Craig’s cost could be a roadblock for some.

How the Jenny Craig Diet works

#9

Biggest Loser Diet

(3.6 out of 5.0)

Biggest Loser Diet recipes | Biggest Loser Diet reviews

The diet received high marks for short-term weight loss, safety, and soundness as a regimen for diabetes, and it was rated moderately effective for heart health. But many panelists felt that in a sea of diets, it’s not overly special, and one said it’s merely “capitalizing on the name” of the popular TV show.

How the Biggest Loser Diet works

#9

Ornish Diet

(3.6 out of 5.0)

Ornish Diet recipes | Ornish Diet reviews

The Ornish diet got a mixed reaction from experts. On one hand, it’s nutritionally sound, safe, and tremendously heart-healthy. On the other, it’s not easy for dieters to adhere to the severe fat restriction the diet demands.

How the Ornish Diet works

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Best Diets Rankings

Best Weight-Loss Diets
Diets ranked by effectiveness for both quick and lasting weight loss.

Best Diabetes Diets
Diets that can prevent diabetes or help diabetics.

Best Heart-Healthy Diets
Diets that lower cholesterol, blood pressure or triglycerides.

Best Diets for Healthy Eating
Diets ranked by how safe and nutritionally complete they are.

Best Commercial Diet Plans
Brand-name diets ranked by overall effectiveness.

Easiest Diets to Follow
Diets ranked on whether they're a snap to stick to.

Best Plant-Based Diets
Plant-based diets ranked by overall effectiveness.

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