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Top three diets ranked by experts
January 18, 2015, 1:17 pm

New diets come and go and the trendiest ones often promise the most dramatic results with the least effort. Whether they are effective or a fad is a matter of opinion, but it can be a difficult task to sift through the options to find the diet plan you want to try.

Luckily, a panel of health experts in the United States has now ranked the three top diets they believe to be the most effective. Each diet was rated on seven different measures, including the ability to produce short and long term weight loss, whether it was easy to follow, whether it provided suitable nutrition, its safety, and its potential in reducing the risk of diabetes and heart disease.

Remarkably, the top three choices found to be most effective diets by the experts are not widely known.

DASH Diet: DASH or Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, is a relatively simple plan developed as a way to lower blood pressure with help from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of America. It basically tells you how many calories you should eat for your age and activity level. The DASH diet eating plan calls for a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, low fat or nonfat dairy.

It also includes mostly whole grains; lean meats, fish and poultry; nuts and beans. It is high in fiber and low to moderate in fat. In addition to lowering blood pressure, the DASH eating plan lowers cholesterol and makes it easy to lose weight. It is a healthy way of eating, designed to be flexible enough to meet the lifestyle and food preferences of most people. You will get a balanced diet by following the DASH guidelines, but success is ultimately up to the level of will power you have.

TLC Diet: The main aim of the TLC or Therapeutic Lifestyle Change diet is to lower high cholesterol by cutting saturated fat intake to just seven percent of daily calories and having more fiber-rich foods like whole grains, fruit and vegetables. Though originally intended to reduce cholesterol the diet should also help you lose weight and reduce risk of heart disease because of the low fat guidelines.

Foods to avoid in TLC diet are saturated fats and oils, such as butter, palm oil, and coconut oil. Instead, use soft tub margarine or vegetable oils, such as olive or canola oil. Avoid trans-fatty acids or partially hydrogenated vegetable oils and limit fatty meats. Replace with skinless chicken or turkey, lean beef, veal, lamb, and fish. Try some meatless main dishes, like beans, peas, pasta, or rice. Limit milk products that contain fat including cream, most cheeses, and nondairy coffee creamers or whipped toppings.

Mayo Clinic Diet: Mayo Clinic diet works by getting you to reprogram yourself and your eating habits by replacing bad ones with good ones, such as snacking on lots of fruit and vegetables. The unique ness of this diet is that it emphasizes on foods with low energy density like whole grains, meaning you can eat more but take in fewer calories as you do it.

The base of the Mayo Clinic diet focuses on generous amounts of healthy foods that contain a small number of calories in a large volume of food, particularly fruits and vegetables. Healthy choices in moderate amounts make up the rest of the pyramid, which encourages selecting whole-grain carbohydrates, lean sources of protein such as legumes, fish and low-fat dairy, and heart-healthy unsaturated fats. The Mayo Clinic Diet does not focus on counting calories, nor does it require you to eliminate certain foods.

All diets appear fine on paper, but ultimately it depends on whether you have the time, effort and willpower to make the diet regimes work for you.

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