Best diets for 2017

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Never mind that Oprah Winfrey is now doing ads for it, the U.S. World and News Report ranks the Weight Watchers commercial diet plan as first for weight loss.

It ties with the Mayo Clinic diet.

A commercial weight loss program means one that requires a membership or fee to join.

Also in the rankings is the DASH diet, which came in at No. 1 overall. It is a way of changing your eating habits.

According to the report, the DASH diet “aims to prevent hypertension by advising followers to prioritize eating fruits, veggies, whole grains, lean protein and low-fat dairy, and steer clear of sweets, red meat and excessive salt. The DASH Diet can lead to weight loss, and also ranked as a top diet for people prone to diabetes and heart disease.”

The DASH diet was also cited as being best for diabetes control, heart health and healthy eating in general.

DASH encourages you to eat more of the foods you know are good for you, like vegetables and fruits, and less sugar and salt.

The one drawback is eating out — most restuarants use more salt, sugar and fats than home-cooked foods, and portions tend to be large. Ask for steamed vegetables or a salad with dressing on the side at restuarants to replace salty sides like fries or loaded potatoes.

The Mediterranean Diet is No. 2, includes “active lifestyle, weight control, and a diet low in red meat, sugar and saturated fat and high in produce, nuts and other healthful foods.”

The Mediterranean diet  is similar, with an emphasis on fresh fruits and vegetables a heart-healthy fats like olive oil.

Weight Watchers diet includes its Beyond the Scale program, “which emphasizes three components: eating healthier; fitness that fits your life; and learning skills and techniques that help you shift your mindset.

The new SmartPoints food plan guides members toward an overall eating pattern that is lower in calories, saturated fat and sugar, and higher in protein.

So the key in all these diets is cutting fat, sugar and salt and eating more veggies, fruits and lean protein.

It also means cooking more and using prepared foods less.

— Deirdre Parker Smith