For the first time ever, an annual ranking of best diets now includes diets that work best for the whole family.
The flexitarian, Mediterranean and TLC diets all tied for first place in the family-friendly category of U.S. News and World Report’s annual ranking of diets.
The flexitarian diet is one that encourages a vegetarian diet most of the time, but has flexibility to also include animal proteins like a hamburger. The Mediterranean diet centers on whole grains, healthy fats, vegetables, fruits and seafood, while the TLC diet, which stands for therapeutic lifestyle changes, also calls for eating lots of vegetables, whole grains, fruits and lean meats, according to Gretel Schueller, managing editor of U.S. News and World Report.
Schueller said the magazine considers diet in its rankings to be a way of eating, not a plan to lose weight. She said the rankings’ new family-friendly category is an acknowledgement that families want to eat healthy together and not follow multiple meal plans.
“Obviously, you don’t want to prepare multiple meals for different family members every day, because that’s not going to last very long,” Schueller told ABC News. “We wanted to make sure that the eating plan offered nutritional value for different calorie and nutritional needs, for example, different ages, different activity levels, health conditions, when you have a different group of people.”
She added, “You can eat literally anything on those diets. It’s about making sure that the bulk of your your calories and your nutrition is coming from vegetables and fruits and whole grains.”
Nutrition experts say there’s no one diet that will work for everyone. Certain diets may be more beneficial depending on your circumstances. Anyone considering changes to their diet should consult with their doctor, experts say.
U.S. News’ panel of experts that determine the annual diet rankings also looked at “real-world constraints” like budget, meal prep time and availability of foods when picking the best family-friendly diets, according to Schueller.
“For example, how easy is it to find that required supplement or food ingredient,” she said. “We also asked how adaptable is that diet for whole…