The best diets of the decade and which to avoid, according to nutrition experts

Healthy fats from olive oil, nuts, avocado, and fish have been linked to heart health and better longevity.Shutterstock

Plant-based eating has gained popularity in the past decade.

The Mediterranean and DASH diets both emphasize whole foods and heart-healthy fats.

People remain curious about high-fat, low-carb diets, such as keto and paleo.

Healthy fats and lean proteins have dominated the past decade of diet trends, as research supported the benefits of eating like some of the longest-living people on earth.

The healthiest diets of the decade emphasized whole foods, especially plants, and limited processed food consumption, according to rankings by a panel of diet and nutrition experts with US News & World Report. Refined carbohydrates, added sugars, and red meat fell out of fashion as whole grains, fruits and veggies, and lean protein gained more space on the plate.

Insider looked at US News’ Best Diets rankings from the past decade, from 2013 to today. Two heart-healthy diets topped the list over the years, while restrictive diets like keto and paleo tended to score poorly in terms of healthiness, but they were among the most searched on Google.

The Mediterranean diet has been ranked the healthiest since 2018

The Mediterranean diet is based on the traditional eating styles of Greece, Italy, and Spain. Since ancient times, people in the region have incorporated plant foods, heart-healthy fats, and lean protein in the way they eat.

The basic eating principles of the Mediterranean diet include cooking with olive oil; eating lots of leafy greens, whole grains, and legumes; getting protein from plants, fish, and poultry; and indulging in low-to-moderate amounts of red wine.

The diet has gained global popularity since researchers noticed that people in the region tend to live longer, healthier lives. Research has supported the health benefits of the Mediterranean eating style, which include better heart health, lower diabetes risk, and less inflammation in the body and brain.

It’s been named the best diet by US News for five years and counting.

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The DASH and flexitarian diets are nutritionist-approved

Before the Mediterranean diet became so popular, the DASH…

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