US News Releases Best Diet Rankings for the Top 35 Plans in 2020

A review breakdown of the best diet rankings in 2020 from the U.S. News & World Report, a global authority in providing consumer advice and ratings. Let's see what to make of their analysis for the top healthy nutritional plans to start following this decade.

U.S. News & World Report just released its latest annual assessment of the best diets in 2020. The consumer ranking agency ranked 35 nutritional dietary plans across various categories, including:

  • Best Diets Overall
  • Best Weight Loss Diets
  • Best Commercial Diet Plans
  • Best Diabetes Diets
  • Best Diets for Healthy Eating
  • Best Fast Weight-Loss Diets
  • Best Heart-Healthy Diets
  • Best Plant-Based Diets
  • Easiest Diets to Follow

Let's review the top 2020 diet rankings according to the published findings by US News & World Report and see if we can make sense of it as the new decade dawns upon us all.

What's The Number One Diet in 2020?

For the third consecutive year, U.S. News & World Report chose the Mediterranean diet as 2020’s best diet overall. The diet regimen was praised for being popular and easy to follow. What's interesting is when we researched the top 2019 diets according to Google search data, the Mediterranean diet was not in the top 10 most popular last year.

While there are too many 2020 nutritional myths still circulating on the Internet and around the world, under the Mediterranean diet, dieters focus on reducing red meat consumption, sugar, and saturated fat while incorporating more produce, nuts, and whole grains as the basis of the dietary program associated for sustaining heart health through a mostly plant-based meal menu.

The Mediterranean diet also took top spots in the agency’s “Best Diets for Healthy Eating”, “Easiest Diets to Follow”, “Best Diets for Diabetes”, and “Best Plant-Based Diet” reports.

The DASH diet, meanwhile, was ranked number two. The goal of the DASH diet is to prevent and lower hypertension. Heart disease continues to be the number one killer in the United States and most developed nations worldwide.

Tied with the DASH diet was the Flexitarian Diet, which was ranked number three last year. The Flexitarian Diet received high marks for its nutritional completeness and safety. Expert analysts praised the diet for being practical, healthy, and supported by clinical research. Under the flexitarian diet, dieters eat mostly plant-based foods without going fully vegan or vegetarian.

WW (Weight Watchers) was ranked as the fourth best overall diet for 2020. WW also retained its number one position in the Best Commercial Diet and Best Weight-Loss Diet rankings.

Three plans tied for the fifth overall spot, including the MIND Diet, Volumetrics, and the Mayo Clinic Diet.

Meanwhile, the HMR Diet was chosen as the Best Fast Weight Loss Diet, while the Ornish Diet was picked as the Best Heart Healthy Diet.

The HMR Diet comes from diet company HMR. You mostly consume HMR products (like pre-made HMR shakes and meals) every day to lose weight. The Ornish Diet, meanwhile, was created by Dr. Dean Ornish with the goal of reducing the risk of heart disease.

Jenny Craig was ranked second overall in Best Commercial Diets, behind only WW, while Volumetrics placed second in the Best Weight-Loss Diet rankings (again, behind only WW).

U.S. News & World Report chose the Nordic Diet has the third best option in its Best Plant-Based Diet rankings for 2020, behind only the Ornish Diet and a vegetarian diet.

The trendy ketogenic (keto) diet, meanwhile, which emphasizes low carb intake and high fat consumption, was tied with Atkins, Jenny Craig, and WW for number three on the list of Best Fast Weight-Loss Diets, down from number two last year.

However, experts cautioned that one size does not fit all – especially when it comes to dieting:

“Whether you're trying to lose weight or improve heart health, diets are not one size fits all. The 2020 Best Diets rankings provide consumers with the information and data needed to make an informed decision that helps them – along with input from their doctor or other medical professional – choose the plan that's best for them,” said Angela Haupt, managing editor of health at U.S. News in a press release announcing the best diet rankings of 2020.

“The in-depth coverage of diets empowers consumers to narrow down the options and make a choice that reflects their lifestyle, personal preferences and overall goal.”

How Are Rankings Calculated?

U.S. News & World Report gathers an expert panel of the country’s top nutritionists, dietary consultants, and physicians specializing in diabetes, heart health, and weight loss.

The 25 experts research each of the 35 diets, then score the diets in seven areas based on their compliance, likelihood of short-term and long-term weight loss, effectiveness against cardiovascular disease and diabetes, nutritional completeness, health risks, and other factors.

To ward off potential bias, all panelists are required to provide information on any conflicts of interest – like any previous paid consulting relationships with a company marketing a particular did. In cases where any conflict was detected, panelists did not rate that particular diet.

Meanwhile, for diets with multiple versions – like a version for pregnant women or diabetics – the most popular version of the diet was selected.

Based on the results of this survey, U.S. News compiles rankings of the Best Diets Overall, Best Commercial Diets, Best Weight-Loss Diets, and more.

In all nine rankings, scores are rounded to one decimal place. Diets with the same scores are tied in rankings but ordered alphabetically.

U.S. News & World Report has published its full methodology here.

Full Rankings of the Best Diets of 2020

You can view the full U.S. News & World Report rankings here. Here is how expert panelists ranked each of the 35 diets.

Best Diets Overall

1. Mediterranean Diet

2. DASH Diet (tie)

2. Flexitarian Diet (tie)

Best Commercial Diets

1. WW (Weight Watchers)

2. Jenny Craig

3. Nutritarian Diet

Best Weight-Loss Diets

1. WW (Weight Watchers)

2. Volumetrics (tie)

2. Vegan Diet (tie)

Best Fast Weight-Loss Diets

1. HMR Diet

2. Optavia Diet

3. WW (Weight Watchers) (tie)

3. Atkins (tie)

3. Ketogenic Diet (tie)

3. Jenny Craig (tie)

Best Diets For Healthy Eating

1. Mediterranean Diet (tie)

1. DASH Diet (tie)

3. Flexitarian Diet

Easiest Diets to Follow

1. Mediterranean Diet

2. Flexitarian Diet

3. WW (Weight Watchers) (tie)

3. MIND Diet (tie)

Best Diets For Diabetes

1. Mediterranean Diet

2. DASH Diet (tie)

2. Flexitarian Diet (tie)

2. Mayo Clinic Diet (tie)

2. Vegan Diet (tie)

Best Heart-Healthy Diets

1. Ornish Diet

2. Mediterranean Diet

3. DASH Diet

Best Plant-Based Diets

1. Mediterranean Diet

2. Flexitarian Diet

3. Ornish Diet (tie)

3. Vegetarian Diet (tie)

3. Nordic Diet (tie)

What Are the Worst Diets of 2020?

U.S. News & World Report also rated some of the worst diets of 2020. The Dukan Diet, Keto Diet, and Whole30 Diet were named some of the worst overall diets over the year.

The Dukan Diet was created by French doctor and nutritionist Pierre Dukan in 2000. It’s a low carb diet that emphasizes lean protein, oat bran, water, and a 20-minute daily walk, among other diet and lifestyle changes.

The Keto diet, meanwhile, was chosen as the worst diet for healthy eating. Experts may have been alarmed by the amount of fat that needs to be consumed for the keto diet to work – including the impact that fat can have on your cardiovascular health.

The Whole30 diet, meanwhile, has been a trendy diet since 2018. The diet emphasizes removing all sugar (real or artificial), all alcohol, all grains, all legumes, all dairy, and all baked goods from your diet for 30 days.

What Does It All Mean? Pick the Diet that Works For You

What do all of these results mean? It means everybody is different in terms of dieting. Some people will have huge success while following a keto diet, while others will develop cardiovascular issues from the same diet.

Some people find the Whole30 diet works for them, while others find the Whole30 diet to be one of the worst diets in the world.

You can view the full rankings of the best diets in 2020 at the official U.S. News & World Report website here. It will be interesting to see how these top-rated diet plans and nutritional programs pan out in the new decade, as there are many health trends to unfold in 2020 and beyond.

About the author

Krystle Marie

Krystle Marie is an avid researcher about all things evolving inside the natural health and wellness industry. Living in Arizona as a stay at home mother, she carries an impressive track record of over a decade in experience as her journalistic professionalism shines bright when it comes to investigating the latest news and researching trendy supplements, diets and fitness programs.

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