What Is the Best Diet for 2018?

Stephanie Specht's picture
By Stephanie Specht on January 10, 2018

It is that time of year when you might be thinking about losing weight or getting in shape, but it is also the time of year when we are all being bombarded by the latest and greatest in weight loss diets. So, what is the best option? 
U.S. News & World Report recently released a list of what it considers to be the best diets of 2018. 
A panel of health experts evaluated and ranked the 40 diets. To be top-rated, a diet had to be relatively easy to follow, nutritious, safe, effective for weight loss and protective against diabetes and heart disease.
The DASH diet, which stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, and the Mediterranean diet tied for the top spot, while the Keto diet was at the bottom of the list.
Both the DASH diet and the Mediterranean diet focus on eating veggies, fruits, whole grains, lean protein and low-fat dairy, while limiting foods that are high in saturated fat, such as fatty meats, full-fat dairy foods and tropical oils, and sugar-sweetened beverages, sweets and salt.
The Keto diet stresses eating high amounts of fat and protein and very few carbohydrates. This essentially puts the body into a state of ketosis, which means that the body breaks down both ingested and stored fat into ketones that are used for energy.
The experts that were part of U.S. News’ panel ranked it low due to its combination of high fats and very low carb content, about 15 to 20 net carbs per day. 
We looked to our own expert to see which diet she would rank as best; however, according to Natalie Klawonn, M.D., a weight-loss specialist with Carilion Clinic’s Weight Loss Center, it is not about this diet or that diet, it is about developing a healthy and sustainable lifestyle.
“We try and avoid ‘diets’,” explained Dr. Klawonn. “Instead, we encourage our patients to focus on foods that are natural and ‘as close to the farm as possible’ while limiting red meat to no more than twice a week and avoiding processed foods, particularly processed carbohydrates.”
“Overall, we strongly believe that sustainable and permanent lifestyle changes are the best approach,” she added.
Dr. Klawonn recommends that her patients follow a diet high in veggies, fruits, whole grains and lean proteins, such as fish, poultry, beans and soy.
“This style of eating requires food preparation and planning, which can seem daunting at first, but with practice becomes much easier and a habit,” noted Dr. Klawonn.
So, next time you are thinking about starting a new diet, instead just make an effort to shop the perimeter of the grocery store and avoid anything that comes in a box. That is a diet that will never rank last.
If you have questions about your diet or food choices, talk to your doctor today.