NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Millions of people have set resolutions to lose weight and get healthier in 2020, and a big part of that is your diet. As we enter the new year, U.S. News and World Report is out with its list of the best and worst diets, but are any of them for you?
“Eating healthy is such a big phrase and it means so many different things depending on who you’re talking to,” said Jacie Slocum, a registered dietician with Aramark at Baylor Scott & White Fort Worth.
The winning diet this year according to U.S. News: The Mediterranean Diet. It focuses on vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans and whole grains.
“I really like it for a lot of my patients,” Slocum told CBS 11 News.
The diet has heart-healthy and brain-boosting benefits. The other top contenders have similar priorities. The DASH Diet adds in a cap on sodium levels, because it’s aimed at reducing hypertension. Flexitarian diets offer some wiggle room with meat while primarily focusing on plant-based proteins like beans and lentils.
“They’re packed full of fiber, they’re good sources of vitamins and minerals, and they’re very low calorie,” said Slocum. “So all that fiber is going to keep us nice and full, but we’re not eating the calories that we’re getting in that 8 ounce, 10 ounce piece of meat.”
Near the bottom of U.S. News’ list are some pretty popular choices. The Keto Diet cuts out carbohydrates and puts the focus on fat. Slocum told us the problem with that boils down to sustainability. High amounts of saturated fat just aren’t good for you, and Slocum said you should be wary of any diet that severely restricts a specific food group.
“We’re cutting out our fruits, our starchy carbs and vegetables that are packed with vitamins and minerals or whole grains that have a lot of benefits to them.”
Whole30 is another popular option ranking low on the list. For 30 days you cut out sugar, alcohol, grains, dairy and basically any treats. The idea is rebooting your habits and cravings, then slowly add back in those cut out foods.
‘The problem with that is that research has proven time and time again we don’t introduce things back in slowly,” said Slocum. “We kind of just pig out.”
Her advice is to try the Plate Method: load half your plate with non-starchy vegetables, put protein on a quarter of your plate, and make another quarter of your plate carbohydrates.