- The raw food diet has been named the worst way to eat for 2023 by US News and World Report.
- An expert panel said the diet was overly restrictive, not evidence-based, and could be lacking in essential nutrients.
- Healthy diets are flexible, easy to maintain over time, and emphasize whole foods and plants.
The raw food diet has been named the worst overall eating plan for 2023, according to the annual diet rankings from US News & World Report.
The diet includes only foods that have not been cooked, such as fruits and vegetables, sprouted grains and beans, and sometimes animal products such as raw fish or unprocessed dairy products. It captured bottom place in several categories of ketogenic diet (keto for short), which moved up a bit in the rankings.
Each year, US News & World Report convenes a panel of health and nutrition experts to rank popular diets based on factors such as overall health, how easy they are to follow, and potential for weight loss and disease prevention.
The raw food diet ranked lowest overall due to the presence of There is no evidence of benefits To dispense with cooked foods, it is very limitedand may make you hungry, since raw foods tend to be lower in calories and protein than prepared foods, according to experts.
As a result, it is difficult to maintain over time. While short-term diets may get temporary results, mostly for weight loss, healthy long-term diets include eating strategies you can actually maintain, according to Gretel Schuyler, editorial director of health at US News.
“At the end of the day, it’s about how long can I stay, can I do it long-term,” Schuyler told Insider. “You may look fine for a few months but eventually you’ll be back where you started.”
According to experts, excessive restriction can be counterproductive to a diet plan
While diets that have strict rules or exclude certain food groups may seem effective, they can be difficult to maintain, and the benefits won’t last if you quit within a few weeks.
“The minute you’re overly restricted or feeling deprived, you’re going to jump right in and not stick with it long-term,” Schuyler said.
The panel of experts noted that other poorly rated diets were also too strict, difficult to follow in the long term, or cut back on potentially nutritious food groups.
Other underperforming diets include commercial diets including the low-carb Atkins diet plus SlimFast and Optavia, which involve highly processed shakes, bars and supplements used to replace whole foods.
In contrast, the highly-rated Mediterranean diet and other highly-rated plans include variety, don’t exclude whole food groups, and are easy to modify to suit individual lifestyles.
“The diets that rise to the top are the ones we’ve known for years that use a commonsense approach to healthy eating, featuring whole, flexible foods,” Schuyler said.
The keto diet ranked a little higher this year
The high-fat, low-carb keto diet, previously ranked the worst diet for healthy eating for several years in a row, has taken first place for fast weight loss, and 20th place overall (out of 24 diets).
Emerging evidence in the past few years The ketogenic diet and low-carb meals have health benefits such as weight and blood sugar controlIt can be structured in such a way as to include more foods rich in nutrients and healthy fats.
“We see it as potentially being done in a healthy way, when done right,” Schuyler said. “Ask yourself what people replace carbs with. If it’s a healthy answer, that makes a huge difference.”
The diet still ranks last for heart health, and experts have previously expressed concerns that the diet is high Saturated fat, which some research has linked to heart health concerns. Cutting out carbs can also mean cutting out nutrient-dense foods like fruit, certain veggies, and whole grains—part of why keto remains in the bottom five this year, according to the expert panel.
But diet doesn’t have to be the stereotype.Dirty ketoFull of butter, fast food burgers, and cheese.
He said examples of healthy keto-friendly foods include sources of fats like olive oil, proteins like fish, low-carb fruits like berries, and plenty of leafy greens for nutrients.