The best overall diets for 2019

For the second year in a row, the Mediterranean diet was named the best diet in America by U.S. News & World Report. Last year's ranking showed the Mediterranean diet tied with the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension diet (also known as DASH), the government-backed plan that emphasizes foods low in sodium but rich in potassium, magnesium and calcium - all of which help lower blood pressure.

The concept of the Mediterranean diet comes from the countries that border the Mediterranean sea, where people historically ate mainly produce, nuts, and healthy fats.

According to the report, people there tend to live longer and are far less likely than Americans to suffer from cancer or heart disease.

If you're gearing up to eat healthier this year, consider including whole grains, seafood, and healthy fats in your diet. It also limits red meat, salt, and candies. "It reinforces that everything we've been told about dieting and weight loss does remain true".

The diet, named for the region that includes Norway, Iceland, Finland, Denmark and Sweden, is an example of a growing interest in diets followed by some of the healthiest people in the world, according to Angela Haupt, assistant managing editor of health at U.S. News and World Report.

The Mediterranean diet has been linked to increased longevity and a decreased risk of chronic illnesses, the report said. It's more flexible than fully vegetarian or vegan diets. Thanks to science, times have certainly changed since your parents tried these old-school (though often misguided) diet tips. You can occasionally add eggs, chicken or fish.

Lifestyle diets, such as the Mayo Clinic diet and MIND diet, are healthier and more sustainable than weight-loss plans such as the Ketogenic or Atkins diet are, the panelists concluded. The most successful diet is one that you can stick to.

The eating plan features a wide variety of options, including fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, poultry, and fish. In fact, one study found the diet may reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease by as much as 53 percent. It assigns points aiming for nutritious foods with fewer calories. Although created to help people lose weight, experts say its focus on healthier living makes it a smart overall diet to follow.

WW offers its members support online and is well-known for its in-person group meetings.

A number of popular diets, including the keto diet, Dukan diet, and the Whole30 diet received some of the lowest rankings on U.S. News' list.

Vanessa Coleman