Los Angeles Times Op-Ed: U.S. News is wrong about what constitutes the best diet

By Nina Teicholz and Gary Taubes, Los Angeles Times, 1/28/18

Dieter beware: U.S. News & World Report, in its high-profile January cover story on "best diets," calls the DASH and Mediterranean diets tops for health, though these regimens represent the failed nutritional status quo of the last 50 years.

DASH is listed first in the U.S. News rankings, but authoritative reviews have found that it's been tested on only about 2,000 subjects (mostly middle-aged hypertensives) in studies lasting no longer than six months. Its effects can hardly be generalized to all Americans.

In those limited studies, the diet, which promotes fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy, did lower some cardiovascular risk factors, such as blood pressure. But it usually worsened others, such as HDL cholesterol (the good kind) and triglycerides. And the one and only time it was tested against a higher-fat version of itself, the higher-fat version performed better.


In the midst of a worldwide obesity and diabetes crisis, we don't need more input from experts who aren't paying attention to the latest science or who can't break free from 50 years of conventional thinking about healthy eating. Promoting the same dietary advice over and over again while expecting different results is indeed a kind of insanity, and worse, is doing nothing to combat rising disease and death rates. Consumers need solid information about how to eat for good health. The U.S. News "best diets" issue doesn't measure up.

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