38 Popular Diets Ranked From Best To Worst

There are so many different kinds of diets out there to try, and you may be wondering how to choose the right one that will work… Trista - July 10, 2019

There are so many different kinds of diets out there to try, and you may be wondering how to choose the right one that will work for your individual needs. Researching diets and discussing them with your doctor is the first step.

The U.S. News and World Report released an annual list of the best diets that are ranked using scientific research. Each diet is rated based on a variety of aspects such as safety, ability to provide results, and how easy it is to follow. Keep reading to learn more about 38 of the most popular diets.



The DASH Diet

The DASH diet lands at number one on this list. It stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. This particular diet was designed to help lower blood pressure without medication. It requires you to lower the amount of sodium in your diet and eat foods that are rich in potassium, calcium, and magnesium.

You can eat 2,000 calories a day, and it is broken down into serving sizes. It would be best if you ate six to eight servings of grains such as rice, pasta, and bread. You should also consume four to five servings of vegetables and fruit, two to three servings of dairy, and six ounces of lean meat. You can also have sweets with this diet, but it should be less than five servings a week.


The MIND Diet

This diet focuses on the health of your brain and was designed to prevent dementia. The MIND diet can also reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes. It closely resembles the DASH diet and the Mediterranean diet.

The MIND diet doesn’t have a set list of guidelines to follow but encourages you to eat plenty of vegetables, berries, nuts, olive oil, fish, beans, poultry, wine, and whole grains. If you desire to follow this diet, you should avoid butter, red meat, cheese, fried foods, and sweets.


The TLC Diet

TLC stands for Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes and is a diet that focuses on heart health. It can help to lower cholesterol and the risk of heart disease and stroke. If you choose to follow this diet, you will be eating foods that are low in fat content.

You will be eating foods that are low in cholesterol and saturated fat such as poultry, fish, dry beans, low-fat milk, eggs, fruits, and vegetables. You should have less than 200 milligrams of cholesterol a day on this diet.


The Weight Watchers Diet

Weight Watchers operates based on a point system where foods are worth a certain number of points. You can eat whatever you want but only have a set number of points to use each day.

There is an app for your phone that allows you to input the foods that you eat to keep track of your points. There are over 200 different types of healthy food that are worth zero points to help you stick to your allotted points per day.


The Mayo Clinic Diet

The Mayo Clinic diet was created by a team of weight-loss experts at the Clinic. It was designed to help people break unhealthy eating habits and adopt healthy ones. This diet also helps you to stay away from a sedentary lifestyle by offering ideas to get you up and moving.

You have the freedom to eat an unlimited amount of fruits and vegetable while on this diet, and it runs based off of a “Lose It!” and “Live It!” philosophy. It’s meant to help you make a lifelong commitment to healthy living.

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The Fertility Diet

The Fertility diet was designed specifically for women to help boost the chances of getting pregnant. It helps to increase the ability to ovulate through eating correctly. There is no guarantee that you will get pregnant by following this diet, but it can increase your chances.

This diet has a ten-step program, but you can do it at your own pace. It suggests that you eat plenty of plant protein, whole grains, and at least one serving of whole milk a day.


The Mediterranean Diet

The Mediterranean diet was inspired by foods found in Greece, Italy, and Spain. If you choose to follow this diet, you will be eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, olive oil, legumes, fish, yogurt, and wine.

Researchers have found that following this diet can help you to lower the risk of heart disease and other chronic illnesses. It may also help to lessen symptoms associated with mental health conditions.

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The Volumetrics Diet

Volumetrics was designed by Barbara Rolls, a nutrition professor at Penn State University. This diet has an approach to eating that allows you to choose foods that have high water content like cucumbers, watermelon, and soup.

These foods make you feel full faster without excess calories. Volumetrics encourages you to find healthy foods to eat that are similar to what you are craving. As an example, if you are craving something like a cake, you could eat a sweet type of fruit instead.


The Flexitarian Diet

The Flexitarian diet is similar to what you would eat as a vegetarian, but you are allowed to eat meat in moderation. It doesn’t have a set amount of calories to eat each day and is considered to be more of a lifestyle change than a diet.

If you choose to become a flexitarian, you will be eating a diet rich in plant-based proteins like fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains. You should also reduce the amount of added sugar in your food choices.

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The Jenny Craig Diet

Jenny Craig was designed to make weight loss easier by delivering packaged, low-calorie meals to your home. You also get to speak with a consultant to help you stick to the diet. It costs about $20 for ten weeks plus the cost of food, which averages out to be $126.

You eat six times a day on this diet, which includes three full meals, two snacks, and one dessert. The only approved foods that you can eat with this diet are the prepackaged meals, fruit, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products.


The Biggest Loser Diet

This diet is based on the diet used on the TV show, The Biggest Loser. The menu has a four-step pyramid. It includes four servings of vegetables and fruit, three servings of lean protein along with two servings of whole grains and 200 calories of extra choices.

It is combined with exercise and requires you to drink plenty of water and to avoid caffeine. You will lower your chances of type 2 diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure, and heart disease by following this diet.

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The Ornish Diet

The Ornish diet is low in fat, carbohydrates, and protein from animals. It helps you to exercise, and lower stress and foods are grouped into five categories. These categories help you choose healthy foods.

Foods in group one are the least healthy, making them the ones to avoid, while meals in group five have the most health benefits. If you choose to follow this diet, you should eat whole grains, plenty of fruit and vegetables, and avoid saturated fat.

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The Vegetarian Diet

A person who follows the vegetarian lifestyle avoids eating animal protein and has a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. There are several different types of vegetarianism, some of which allow you to have eggs and dairy.

If you follow a vegetarian diet, it might help you lose weight, reduce the risk of cancer, stabilize blood sugar, and keep your heart healthy. In order to get the protein your body needs on this diet, you will eat plenty of legumes and nuts.

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The Traditional Asian Diet

The Traditional Asian diet allows you to have all of the Asian foods you enjoy while keeping certain types of food at a minimum. If you want to try this diet, you will be eating plenty of rice, noodles, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, seeds, and nuts.

Protein is optional while you are on this diet, but you can have fish, poultry, shellfish, and eggs if you choose. Sweets are limited to once per week, and you should drink at least six glasses of water per day.


The Slimfast Diet

If you are interested in trying Slimfast, all you have to do is replace two meals a day with the company’s shakes, bars, or cookies. These snacks have only 100 calories and make you feel full.

You can have one full meal daily, and it can be whatever you want. This diet helps you to replace foods that have a high amount of calories. You should avoid drinks with sugar and get at least 30 minutes of exercise a day while following the Slimfast diet.

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The SparkPeople Diet

The SparkPeople diet offers an online community for people who want to lose weight. The diet lets you have 1,500 calories a day and is meant to boost your metabolism. Exercise is also an essential aspect of this diet.

The online community was put in place to help people reach their goals. The diet is broken down into percentages to make it easier to follow. Your diet should consist of up to 65% carbohydrates, up to 35% fats, and 16-35% protein.


The Anti-Inflammatory Diet

The Anti-Inflammatory diet was created to help people reduce inflammation due to chronic illnesses. If you have swelling and want to try this diet, you will be eating fruit, vegetables, lean protein, seeds, nuts, and healthy fats. Inflammation occurs in the body when you have an injury or infection.

Chronic illnesses can often cause inflammation, and this diet is meant to help you with some of the pain and swelling associated with it. You should avoid foods that are high in omega-6 fatty acids while on this diet, as they are known to increase inflammation.


The HMR Diet

The HMR diet follows a 3+2+5 plan, so you will be drinking three HMR shakes, eating two HMR meals, and eating five servings of fruits and vegetables per day. The diet aims to help you make behavioral changes that will help you eat healthier than before.

The website offers a fitness tracker to help you be sure that you are getting enough exercise per day. HMR also provides coaches for everyone who joins. This coach can help you through the process of following the diet.


The Flat Belly Diet

The Flat Belly diet helps you to lose weight safely and quickly. It has a strict 1600 calorie-per-day allowance. The basis of the diet is to eat plenty of foods with high amounts of monounsaturated fatty acids, as they help you to shed pounds quickly by making you feel full longer.

There are two parts to the diet: a four-day jumpstart and a four-week eating plan. The jumpstart restricts your caloric intake to 1200 calories a day. During this time, you will only eat four 300 calorie meals per day.


The NutriSystem Diet

NutriSystem aims to make dieting easier for those who have a difficult time sticking to one. All of your meals are made and shipped directly to your home. It is a 28-day program that helps you control portion sizes when eating.

The company offers 150 different kinds of food to select from for meals. You can also choose plans for women, men, people with diabetes, or vegetarians. NutriSystem recommends at least 30 minutes of exercise a day while following the 28-day program.


The Vegan Diet

Veganism closely resembles vegetarianism, but followers of veganism don’t eat any animal protein. Milk, honey, and eggs are also avoided. Vegans tend to have a soy-based diet because it gives them the protein needed to replace protein found in meat.

If you choose to try a vegan diet, you will be eating fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, and tofu. There are many recipes and books available to help you figure out what to eat. You may need to take supplements to get the proper amount of specific vitamins in your body.


The Engine 2 Diet

A former professional athlete and firefighter created the Engine 2 diet. It is a low-fat diet and similar to veganism. The most significant difference between the two diets is that Engine 2 cuts out vegetable oil from your diet and offers alternatives.

This diet plan focuses on eating whole grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables. You have to cut all processed foods from your diet and stick to fresh and healthy alternatives. It also has a 28-day challenge that helps you to get into the routine gradually.


The South Beach Diet

The South Beach Diet helps you to eliminate certain kinds of carbohydrates from your diet by teaching you the difference between good and bad carbs. The menu has three phases that will help you to reduce cravings, eat healthier, and maintain a healthy weight.

It uses the glycemic index to help you choose foods that are low in carbohydrates, which in turn helps to keep your blood sugar at a healthy level. Exercise is also an essential aspect of the South Beach diet.


The Abs Diet

The Abs diet is meant to be done for six weeks to tone and lose weight around your midsection. During those six weeks, you’ll eat six times a day and alternate between full meals and snacks. Two power foods must be included with each complete meal.

Power foods include things like almonds, eggs, peanut butter, and raspberries. Exercise is vital to be successful with this diet. If you want to try the Abs diet, there are books available with recipes and guidelines for workout routines.


The Eco-Atkins Diet

The Eco-Atkins diet is similar to the Atkins diet, but it isn’t all about high amounts of protein and low carbs. The Eco version is entirely vegetarian. This diet aims to lower bad cholesterol and eliminate unnecessary animal protein from your diet.

Research has shown that people with high cholesterol can lower their bad cholesterol by eating a diet made up of healthy fats, soy, nuts, vegetables, fruits, and beans. The protein and carbohydrates needed come from foods like veggie burgers, barley, and avocados.


The Zone Diet

A biochemist created the Zone diet. It is said to help lower inflammation in the body. To follow this diet correctly, you will need to eat a menu consisting of 40% carbohydrates, 30% protein, and 30% fat.

There are two methods to this diet- the hand/eye method and Zone food blocks. You use your hand to determine portion sizes, and your eyes help you to estimate portions on your plate. The food blocks help you to figure out how many carbs, protein, and fat to eat daily. You can only have a set amount of block to use per meal.


The Glycemic Index Diet

The Glycemic Index diet aims to help you eat foods that keep your blood sugar at a healthy level. It is especially helpful to people with diabetes. The glycemic index puts several foods based on the amount of sugar it contains.

If you have diabetes or other chronic health conditions, this diet may help you lose weight and minimize symptoms. You will be eating food that is rich in carbohydrates that won’t increase your blood sugar. Foods that you should avoid are rice, white bread, and potatoes.

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The Macrobiotic Diet

The macrobiotic diet is a pescatarian diet, which is either vegan or vegetarian. It draws inspiration for food from Buddhism. It is supposed to balance the yin and yang between food and your cookware. The idea behind this diet is to eliminate animal protein from your diet and only eat locally grown food.

If you want to try this diet, you will be eating lots of vegetables, legumes, fruit, seaweed, and whole grains. You may also eat fish and seafood in moderation, meaning one to two times a week. It is crucial to speak with your doctor before trying this diet, as it can often lead to vitamin deficiencies.


The Medifast Diet

The Medifast diet is similar to NutriSystem. You order your food from their website, and it is delivered to your home. The menu focuses on eating low-calorie and low-fat foods. The company sells shakes, pudding, energy bars, soup, hot cocoa, cappuccino, and oatmeal.

The food that you buy contains an appetite suppressor that makes you feel full longer. It is similar to the herb, garcinia cambogia. The website states that you can lose two to five pounds per week if you follow their plan.


The Supercharged Hormone Diet

The Supercharged Hormone diet is a program that helps you to cleanse your body of excess hormones like estrogen and cortisol. You begin by doing a two week cleanse where you remove foods from your diet. You will slowly be able to reintroduce them over the course of those 30 days.

You remove gluten, corn, dairy, potatoes, and citrus fruit from your diet and slowly start eating them again after the cleanse to see how well your body can handle them. It is recommended to take supplements during the cleanse portion of the diet to replace nutrients you are losing.


The Acid Alkaline Diet

This diet aims to help you remove acidic foods from your diet and is also known as The Alkaline diet. Your body produces a large amount of metabolic waste that can be removed by eating more alkaline food. Eating more of these foods is believed to improve your overall health.

Some types of alkaline foods are vegetables, fruit, nuts, and legumes. You should avoid foods such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy, alcohol, and grains. You can check the alkalinity of your body buy buying pH strips, and this will help you to choose the amount of alkaline food to eat.


The Fast Diet

The Fast diet is a low-calorie dieting plan that you follow for two days out of the week. During these two days, you cut your caloric intake down to 25% of what you would typically eat. You can eat whatever you like during the other five days in the week.

Men are limited to 600 calories during those two days out of the week, and women are only allowed 500. It is recommended that you eat foods that are high in protein on diet days. Some of these foods include skinless chicken, strawberries, carrots, legumes, and nuts.


The Body Reset Diet

The Body Reset diet is a 15-day plan that offers low-calorie options. It is broken into 3 phases where you mostly drink smoothies to replace other foods in your diet. You only drink smoothies during the first phase, and then in the second phase, you drink two smoothies per day and eat one meal. The third phase allows you to have two meals per day.

It is believed that this diet will help you burn calories faster. Exercise is an essential aspect of this diet, as well. You should walk at least 10,000 steps per day while doing a body reset and add 20 minutes of resistance exercise per day.


The Raw Food Diet

This diet emphasizes eating food that isn’t cooked. It is thought that a diet like this can improve your overall health and help you lose weight. Food is considered to be raw when it is only cooked up to 118 degrees. People who follow this diet tend to juice, soak, or dehydrate their food before eating it.

If you want to try the Raw Food diet, you should start by eliminating animal protein and processed food from your diet. At least 75% of the food you eat should be raw. Safe raw foods include vegetables, fruits, legumes, seeds, sprouts, olive oil, seaweed, and milk made from nuts.


The Atkins Diet

The Atkins diet became popular in the 1970s when Dr. Atkins released a book entitled Dr. Atkins Diet Revolution. It is a low-carbohydrate diet that has four phases. Each phase allows you to eat more carbs, but you start by only eating 20 grams of carbs per day in the first phase.

This diet is intended to reduce the number of carbs you eat so that you will burn stored fat. You will be eating plenty of lean meat on this diet in four to six-ounce servings, as well as leafy greens and olive oil. This diet can help you lose weight if you’re willing to cut carbs.


The Dukan Diet

The creators of the Dukan diet believe that protein is the key to weight loss. They claim that you can lose up to ten pounds in the first week. There are many rules to follow on this diet, but the result may be beneficial to some.

There are four phases in the diet. The first phase allows you to eat all that you can. Each stage introduces something new to your diet, which includes vegetables, bread, and cheese. More research needs to be done for this diet to find out how much weight you’re able to lose.


The Paleo Diet

The Paleo diet was made to follow the eating habits of prehistoric humans. You are allowed to eat meat, fish, fruits, vegetables, seeds, and nuts. The purpose of the diet is to return to a more natural way of eating. This diet can help you lose weight if you follow the guidelines.

It would be best if you drink plenty of water and exercise while on the Paleo diet. Research has shown that people who follow this plan have better control of their blood pressure and lower triglycerides. You may need to take supplements while on this diet, as you will lose some crucial vitamins.


The Whole 30 Diet

The Whole 30 diet is a 30-day plan that allows you to eat whole foods. This diet is similar to the Paleo diet, but you aren’t allowed to eat foods such as honey or maple syrup. You don’t have to count calories on this diet or weigh yourself regularly.

It is believed that food such as sugar, grains, dairy, and legumes affect energy and stress levels, so these foods should be avoided as well. You are allowed to eat a variety of foods such as seafood, eggs, vegetables, nuts, and fruit while following the Whole 30 Diet.