U.S. News & World Report named the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet the "best overall" in its first-ever diet rankings. DASH, which is rich in fruits and vegetables and low in meat, sugar and sodium, was developed by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute about a decade ago.
A panel of 22 experts assembled by U.S. News chose the best overall diet based on short- and long-term weight loss (with double emphasis on the latter); it also had to be easy to follow, nutritious and safe.
The experts tweaked their criteria to name winners in four other categories: Weight Watchers was named the best weight-loss diet and the best commercial diet plan, DASH took the best diabetes diet category, and the low-fat, vegetarian Ornish Diet came in first for heart health.
The U.S. News rankings come on the heels of Consumer Reports' recent ratings in which the Jenny Craig program came out on top.