Star ratings reflect scores of 1 to 5 assigned to the Traditional Asian 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.) Experts liked its nutritional soundness and safety, but weren’t impressed with its ability to deliver long-term weight loss. They also pronounced it somewhat difficult to follow. Still, “if Americans would incorporate some of the Asian eating habits into their present diet, they would reap benefits from such a change,” one expert said. Below are ratings in all categories and how the experts’ opinions broke down.
Short-Term Weight Loss
The Asian diet landed toward the bottom of the list, suggesting that experts weren’t confident it would lead to short-term weight loss. It received just under 3 out of 5 stars. That’s below average when compared to the other ranked diets.
Long-Term Weight Loss
The Asian diet received roughly 3 out of 5 stars for long-term weight loss—a below-average score. Experts were wary about dieters’ likelihood of sticking to a different culture’s eating pattern, and others were concerned about the high amount of sodium and white rice.
Easy to Follow
The Asian diet pulled in just under 3 stars, and landed in the middle of the pack in this category. It’s up to you to shape a menu based on the Asian diet pyramid, which experts warn may prove difficult. It’s tough to stick to “unless you have a chef at home completing all the food preparation,” one expert said. “And it’s difficult to completely change eating behaviors when you live in the United States.”
The Asian diet received roughly 4 out of 5 stars, one of its top scores. Experts were confident that following the plan can be nutritionally sound, if followed correctly. One expert worried that followers would “emphasize the more empty starches rather than vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.”
The Asian diet earned its best score in this category, pulling in mostly 4s and 5s. No indications of serious risks or side effects have surfaced.
Experts handed out a respectable 3.2 out of 5 stars. Following the Asian diet pyramid could promote weight loss, which helps prevent and control diabetes. Still, make sure you skip the extra soy sauce and sides of rice.
For Heart Health
The Asian diet registered moderately well as a way to achieve cardiovascular health, earning about 3.3 stars out of 5, but was well down in the pack. Still, it’s a plant-based plan, and opting for whole grains, fruits and veggies is widely regarded as heart-healthy.
Last updated by Angela Haupt | December 13, 2013