This will probably comes as no surprise to longtime readers and Meatless Monday devotees, but U.S. News & World Report made it official this week. Their “Best Diets” report is out, and readers will spot a common thread: meatless, meat-reduced, and whole foods based programs are topping the charts.
Within plant-based diets, a new category, Mediterranean, Flexitarian and other popular regimens vied for supremacy amid a class of programs that emphasized fruits and veggies, if not excluding animal products altogether.
The Mediterranean plan—based around fruits, veggies, whole grains, beans, nuts, legumes, olive oil, and flavorful herbs and spices—came out on top, getting exemplary marks for nutrition, safety and heart-healthiness.
In the conventional diet category, DASH—or Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension—was ranked best. DASH promotes the consumption of whole and unprocessed foods while eschewing calorie- and fat-filled snacks. Though it was specifically developed to prevent hypertension, healthy weight loss is one of its many ancillary benefits.
Across all of the categories, one common feature among the winning diets was evident: less meat. A reduction in animal products generally, and red meat especially, anchored each of the highest scoring programs, suggesting a clear trend in dietary habits.