Eating only raw food can make it hard to get enough calories and protein and can be tricky to maintain.Aleksandr Zubkov/Getty Images
Experts convened by US News & World Report suggest a raw-food diet is the worst way to eat for 2023.
They said the diet was overly restrictive and not evidence-based and could lack essential nutrients.
Healthy diets are flexible and easy to maintain over time and emphasize whole foods and plants.
The annual diet rankings from US News & World Report identified the raw-food diet as the worst overall eating plan for 2023.
The diet includes only foods that haven’t been cooked, such as fruits and veggies, sprouted grains and beans, and sometimes animal products like raw fish or unprocessed dairy. It took over the bottom spot in several categories from the ketogenic diet, or keto for short, which moved up slightly in the rankings.
Every year, US News & World Report convenes experts in health and nutrition to rank popular diets based on factors like their overall healthiness, how easy they are to follow, and their potential for weight loss and disease prevention. This year they reviewed 24 diets.
The experts ranked the raw-food diet lowest overall because there’s no evidence of benefits of cutting out cooked foods, it’s extremely limiting, and it may make you hungry, since raw foods tend to be lower in calories and protein than prepared food.
As a result, it’s tough to maintain over time. While short-term diets may lead to temporary results, often for weight loss, healthy diets in the long term involve eating strategies you can maintain, said Gretel Schueller, the managing editor for health at US News.
“At the end of the day, it’s about how long can I stay on this, can I do this in the long term,” Schueller told Insider. “You may look good for a few months but will eventually return right back to where you started.”
Experts say too much restriction can make a diet plan backfire
While diets that have strict rules or cut out certain food groups may seem effective, they can be hard to maintain, and the benefits won’t last if you quit within a few weeks.
“The moment you’re overly restrictive or feeling deprived, you’ll jump off and…