DASH and Mediterranean Diets Tie for Best Overall Diet

By Amy Orciari Herman

Edited by Susan Sadoughi, MD, and Richard Saitz, MD, MPH, FACP, DFASAM

The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) and Mediterranean diets tied for first place in the “Best Diets Overall” category of U.S. News & World Report‘s annual diet rankings. Top contenders in this category are considered “relatively easy to follow, nutritious, safe, effective for weight loss and protective against diabetes and heart disease.”

Coming in third is the Flexitarian Diet, which combines vegetarianism with flexibility to achieve weight loss and optimal health. It emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and plant-based protein — but “you can … still chow down on a burger or steak when the urge hits.”

Here are the winners in some of the other categories:

  • Best weight loss diets: Weight-Watchers, followed by Volumetrics

  • Best diabetes diets: Mediterranean, followed by DASH

  • Easiest diets to follow: Mediterranean, with Flexitarian and Weight Watchers tied for second


U.S. News & World Report rankings (Free)

Background: Physician’s First Watch coverage of 2017 American Heart Association/American Stroke Association advisory promoting DASH and Mediterranean Diets for optimal brain health