UofSC research team looks at best and worst diets for your health

UofSC research team looks at best and worst diets for your health
UofSC research team looks at best and worst diets for your health(Madeline Cuddihy)
Updated: Feb. 26, 2021 at 5:28 PM EST
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Diet culture is a huge part of an on-going conversation that revolves around nutrition. Dr. Brie Turner-McGrievy, an associate professor at the University of South Carolina, created a team that compared the 40 diets rated by physicians and nutritionists for U.S. News & World report and found significant differences in nutritional quality.

While there are many dietary approaches/patterns available, CDC data from 2020 shows that 17% of Americans say they are on a diet consistently. Many of them say weight loss is the primary goal.

“Almost half of all adults in the United States have tried to lose weight in the past year,” Turner-McGrievy said. “While the general diet recommendation for adult weight loss is to reduce calorie intake, there are a variety of dietary strategies that can be used to achieve that goal.”

From their research, Dr. Turner-McGrievy’s team found that moderate and plant-based diets scored higher in overall diet quality than low-carbohydrate diets and out-performed some notable “brand-name” and popular fad diets like the ketogenic diet.

“I think those diets are popular because those are the foods people crave and want to eat lots of them, and that’s really appealing - but for long term, people can’t stick with stick with something like keto.”

For diets that scored the highest based on their research, plant-based and moderate diets, especially the Macrobiotic, Big Loser, and Ornish diets, also were shown to be highly anti-inflammatory. The Ornish diet also scored high with qualities based on the Healthy Eating Index.

“I think that’s a really good place to start,” Turner-McGrievy said, “rich in vegetables and low in sugar and sugar alcohols is a great place to start.”

To view the full list of rankings, click here.

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