Best diets in 2023: Mediterranean diet wins again


It’s officially 2023, and if history repeats, millions of Americans are likely vowing that this year will be one when they drop those unwanted pounds for good. After all, weight loss usually lands one of the top spots on New Year’s resolution surveys.

And just in time, there’s guidance to pick the best plan, as U.S. News & World Report’s annual rankings of the best diet plans were released on Jan. 3.

Once again, the Mediterranean diet, which emphasizes fruits, vegetables, olive oil, and fish, got the top spot, as best diet overall. It’s the sixth consecutive year for that win. But many other diets got top marks as well.

In 2023, U.S. News, with the help of more than 30 nutritionists, doctors, and epidemiologists, ranked 24 diets in several categories to help people find a plan that meets their goals, whether it’s finding the best weight loss diet, easiest one to follow, or plans for other goals, such as managing diabetes or heart disease. Two new categories were added: Best Diets for Bone & Joint Health and Best Family-Friendly Diets.

In previous years, the publication ranked 40 diets. Even if a diet is no longer ranked, its profile with detailed information remains on the site.

“Each year we ask ourselves what we can do better or differently next time,” said Gretel Schueller, managing editor of health for U.S. News. When the publication got feedback from their experts this year, they had requests to consider sustainability of diets and whether they meet a busy family’s needs, in addition to considering many other factors.

This year’s report ranks plans in 11 categories.

The winners and the categories:

Best diets overall

After the Mediterranean diet, two others tied for second place:

  • DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet, which fights high blood pressure and emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and low-fat dairy.
  • Flexitarian diet, which focuses on fruits, vegetables, and other healthy foods but also allows occasional meat.

Best weight-loss diets

WW, formerly known as Weight Watchers, got first place. The plan emphasizes not only weight loss but healthier eating and regular activity. The Points program, which assigns specific points to foods, with a daily Points budget, is more personalized than in the past.

  • DASH got second place.
  • Mayo Clinic Diet and TLC diet tied for third place. The Mayo Clinic Diet focuses on fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. It helps people improve their eating habits. The TLC diet (Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes) focuses on vegetables, fruit, lean protein, and reducing cholesterol levels.

Best fast weight-loss diets

The keto diet got first place. It’s a high-fat, low-carb diet that aims to achieve weight loss through fat burning. Four others tied for second place:

  • Atkins, a diet created by the cardiologist Robert Atkins, which begins with very few carbs and then recommends progressively eating more until the weight loss goal is achieved
  • Nutrisystem, a commercial program that includes prepackaged meals and focuses on high-protein, lower-glycemic foods to stabilize blood sugar levels
  • Optavia, a plan focused on low-carb, low-calorie foods and including fortified meal replacements
  • SlimFast Diet, a plan of shakes, smoothies, and meal bars to replace two of three meals a day


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