Star ratings reflect scores of 1 to 5 assigned to the Mayo Clinic Diet in eight 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.) Experts approved of the diet’s nutritional profile, safety, and ability to prevent or treat diabetes or heart disease but were slightly skeptical of its ability to deliver weight loss, citing an absence of rigorous studies on which to base their scores. Still, it earned an overall rating of nearly 4 stars, putting it near the top of our rankings. Below, ratings in all categories and how the experts’ opinions broke down.
Short-Term Weight Loss
Although they lacked rigorous research to draw upon, most experts felt the diet could yield short-term weight loss. Mayo’s score of 3.3 stars placed it in the middle of the pack in this category.
Long-Term Weight Loss
In the near-total absence of rigorous long-term studies, experts are reluctant to conclude that any given diet will work over the long haul. Mayo, however, scored higher than many other diets with a score of nearly 3 stars, which is considered "moderately effective."
Easy to Follow
Most of our experts thought it was moderately easy to follow. But whether dieters would have the will to stay on track was an issue with some panelists. They were more confident about Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig.
High scores were the norm when the experts put Mayo Clinic’s eating pyramid up against the federal government’s 2010 Dietary Guidelines. It’s “how we all should eat,” one panelist commented.
This was the highest-scoring measure on Mayo’s plate, generating nothing but 4s and 5s across the board when the experts considered the health risks posed by the Mayo Clinic Diet. It rated more than 4½ stars, better than most of the other diets.
Although not specifically developed as a diet for preventing or controlling diabetes, the majority of our experts considered the Mayo Clinic Diet’s approach to be better than other diets for that purpose. In this category, Mayo earned a solid 3½ stars.
For Heart Health
The panel thought the Mayo Clinic Diet seemed to be a good option for reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. The diet’s scores averaged 3.6 stars, which defined it as a high performer in this measure.
Last updated by Kurtis Hiatt | January 07, 2013
Nutrisystem determines portions, prepares and delivers your meals, and tells you what to eat and when.
The Dean Ornish Diet can be tailored to your specific health issues. The strictest version is challenging because it severely reduces fat intake.
The Biggest Loser Diet stresses nutrition and exercise. In 6 weeks, dieters can lose weight, make progress against diabetes, and improve heart health.