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Best Diets: What's your opinion?

Feb 20, 2018

As a clinician and academician, I try to stay up-to-date on the management of obesity. I remain update through various methods, such as electronic table of contents, summary of recent literature, conferences, etc. Recently, I came across a news article fromU.S. News and World Report about the best diets overall.

First, I do not like the word “diet” as it does appear negative to patients when speaking about food intake or lifestyle habits during an individual encounter and/or group class. In practice, it is about promoting a certain dietary pattern, which can improve metabolic endpoints (i.e., blood pressure, cholesterol concentrations, glucose levels) and promote weight loss. Based on this article, it provides rankings for the top dietary patterns from certain categories: overall, weight loss, and various conditions.

The top 3 dietary patterns overall included a tie between the DASH diet and Mediterranean diet for #1, followed by the Flexitarian diet. For weight loss, Weight Watchers diet was #1, followed by Volumetrics diet (#2) and Jenny Craig (#3). For those with diabetes, this article ranked the Mediterranean diet as the #1 with the DASH diet and Flexitarian diet as #2 and #3, respectively.


In clinical practice, it is important to consider the patient, preferences for foods (including considerations of allergies or intolerance), as well as their budgetary restraints and other resources


Below is a summary of the top dietary patterns from the previously mentioned categories.

You may refer to the article Best Diets that provides a full list of all rankings.

  1. DASH: “Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension”, consists of grains, vegetables, fruits, fat-free or low-fat milk products, lean protein choices, and nuts, seeds, or legumes
  2. Mediterranean: consists of extra virgin olive oil, fish and lean meat, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and red wine
  3. Flexitarian: promotes fresh and plant-based foods with 40-60 grams of protein per day and emphasis on fruits, vegetables, grains, beans, legumes, and nuts
  4. Weight Watchers: promotes similar food choices as previous dietary patterns, but based on a point system for weight loss and/or maintenance
  5. Volumetrics: encourages intake of low energy-density foods and avoidance of high energy-density foods
  6. Jenny Craig: promotes portion control with assistance of one-on-one counseling with pre-packaged foods

In clinical practice, it is important to consider the patient, preferences for foods (including considerations of allergies or intolerance), as well as their budgetary restraints and other resources. In addition, looking at someone's cultural background may also assist in determining the right dietary pattern to promote based on their medical conditions.

What do you do in practice? What dietary patterns do you promote the most? Do your recommendations match this article in terms of top dietary patterns in the rankings?

Please share your comments and thoughts on this blog so that we can all learn from each other.


Jennifer Clements

About the Author

Jennifer Clements received her Doctorate of Pharmacy from Campbell University in 2006 and completed a primary care residency at a Veterans Affairs Medical Center in 2007. She is also a certified diabetes educator and board certified in pharmacotherapy. Currently, she is an Associate Professor of Pharmacy Practice at Presbyterian College School of Pharmacy.

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