Mediterranean Diet and DASH named best diets for overall health and weight loss

And the Oscar winner for Best Picture is... Do Australians really care? We're all watching Netflix.

But Australians certainly care about the best diet. Figures show that 92 per cent of young women and 44 per cent of middle aged women have dieted to lose weight at least once.

So, what's the best diet in 2018? US World & News Report took 40 eating plans to a panel of experts in diet, nutrition, obesity, food psychology, diabetes and heart disease. Here are the winners and the losers:

The Best Diet Overall

The DASH Diet and The Mediterranean Diet

The DASH Diet is about preventing and lowering high blood pressure. Potassium, calcium, protein, and fibre are key to fighting off high blood pressure. Eat foods with these nutrients while avoiding those high in saturated fat and processed-salty foods.

The Mediterranean Diet has been around for some time now, and the idea is self-explanatory – consume like our Mediterranean living friends who suffer less from cancer and cardiovascular disease. Eat less red meat, sugar, and saturated fat while consuming more fruits/veggies, fish, wholegrains, and nuts.

The Best Weight Loss Diet

The Weight Watchers Diet

Launched in 2015, The Weight Watchers Beyond the Scale Program still assigns point values to food, but the program now dives into healthier choices, behaviour changes, and moving the body more.

Rounding out the Top Five were Volumetrics Diet, Jenny Craig Diet, Vegan Diet, and The Flexitarian Diet. The bottom half of worst weight loss diets were filled with some known names – (#23) Keto Diet, (tied for #30) Dukan, Fast Diet, and Paleo Diet.


The Best Fast Weight Loss Diet

The HMR Program

The Health Management Resources Program relies on reducing calories via meal replacement shakes, adding fruits and veggies, and displacing high calories foods from your diet. Additionally, they recommend 10 to 20 minutes of walking per day to reach weight loss goals. They offer medically supervised, in-clinic, and at-home dieting options.

The next four diets were Weight Watchers Diet, Biggest Loser Diet, Medifast Diet, and SlimFast Diet. The worst? Number 40 was The Acid Alkaline Diet which recommends food based on the zero to 14 pH scale which measures acids (your body wants less of) and alkalis.

The Best Diet for Healthy Eating

The Dash Diet and Mediterranean Diet

Dash and Mediterranean are dual Gold Medal winners. Experts love Dash's overall nutrition, safety, prevention (and control) of diabetes, and its ability to control pressure on the heart (hypertension) and waistline. The Mediterranean (created in part by Harvard University) is high on the list due to its variety of healthy foods from veggies and fruits to fish and nuts while cutting down on the red meat, increasing exercise, and still enjoy a glass of red.

The Worst Diet Overall

The Keto Diet

If you're ripped, or if you're in Hollywood chances are you're on The Ketogenic Diet. Keto hit the market in force in 2017, and it's here to stay in 2018. By slashing carbs and filling up on fats, your body enters ketosis where your body breaks down dietary and stored fat into ketones. Therefore, your body relies on fat rather than sugar for energy.

Why is Keto a loser? Some ketogenic diets call for 20 net carbs per day or less. Experts dislike the unusually high fat and very low carbohydrates. Further, experts warned those with liver or kidney conditions from going keto, and it's still unclear if keto is healthy for those with heart conditions or diabetes.

Pick your goals

The good news is the list is above. Find the best diet for your lifestyle and weight loss/maintenance, then execute on that plan.

The bad news is, weight loss dieting research shows that: one- to two thirds of the weight is regained within a year, and almost all is regained within five years. Further, children who diet are more prone to eating disorders, depression, and other irregularities than those who do not.

Fear tactics

Last week, the Australian Medical Association called for a tobacco-like scare campaign around obesity.

But food ain't cigarettes.

Living a healthy lifestyle that combines fresh food with portion control and ample fitness that you, me, and your neighbour can follow for short, medium, and long-term is a choice – not something to be scared into.

Remember, dieting is a shortcut. Healthy food with intense exercise is how you stay out of the hospital. Your body is an engine, and of course it loves healthy fuel. But that engine likes to move with speed, power, and a bit of strength.

Dieting without exercise is simple – you're half-arsing life.

Passion for lifestyle change is the cornerstone for everything Michael Jarosky does. A Sydney-based personal trainer, he cajoled thousands of Executive Style readers to undertake his "Cut The BS" diet, and champions a charity weight-loss event, Droptober.

Follow Michael on Twitter

Are you ready to change up your eating habits in 2018? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.