Digg is an independent, advertiser-supported website and may receive compensation for some links to products and services throughout this website.

5 Best Diet Plans

Whether you're trying to lose weight or improve your health, finding the right diet plan can help. With so many plans claiming to be the best option, choosing the one to follow is complicated. In this article, we've covered the top-ranked diet plans for different situations so you can make an informed decision.

Our Top Picks For Best Diet Plans

Ads by Money. We may be compensated if you click this ad.AdAds by Money disclaimer
Looking to lose weight? Consider a Diet Plan
The smart way to transform your body is through a personalized weight loss plan. Click on your state to start transforming your life!
HawaiiAlaskaFloridaSouth CarolinaGeorgiaAlabamaNorth CarolinaTennesseeRIRhode IslandCTConnecticutMAMassachusettsMaineNHNew HampshireVTVermontNew YorkNJNew JerseyDEDelawareMDMarylandWest VirginiaOhioMichiganArizonaNevadaUtahColoradoNew MexicoSouth DakotaIowaIndianaIllinoisMinnesotaWisconsinMissouriLouisianaVirginiaDCWashington DCIdahoCaliforniaNorth DakotaWashingtonOregonMontanaWyomingNebraskaKansasOklahomaPennsylvaniaKentuckyMississippiArkansasTexas
Get Started

Best Diet Plan Reviews

High-carb, low-carb, vegan — which is healthiest? We've waded through all the hype to determine which diet plans deliver the best results. Read on to discover the diets doctors and researchers recommend most.

Mediterranean Diet

  • Easy to follow
  • Proven health benefits
  • Flexible
  • Can be time-consuming
  • May be more expensive

Why we chose it: The Mediterranean diet is widely recommended by doctors because studies have suggested it can reduce your risks of cardiovascular disease as well as support healthy aging.

The Mediterranean diet includes a large variety of nutritious foods, and is named the traditional cuisine enjoyed by people living in countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea, including France, Spain, Italy and Greece. The Mediterranean diet has no strict rules, so it's easy to incorporate into your lifestyle.

Mediterranean diets are high in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds and heart-healthy fats. It's low in processed foods, refined carbohydrates and added sugars. The Mediterranean diet helps with weight control, and studies have shown it is associated with lower rates of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke and some cancers.

Research has also suggested that the "green" Mediterranean diet is linked to improved brain function in older adults. The green Mediterranean diet includes a daily intake of green tea, walnuts and an aquatic plant called Mankai. Researchers believe these foods' polyphenols — beneficial plant compounds — protect aging brains against declining mental function.

Flexibility is a significant benefit of the Mediterranean diet. You can almost always find entrees that fit the diet guidelines at any restaurant. In addition, the Mediterranean lifestyle encourages you to eat meals in a relaxed, social setting with friends and family. Studies have shown that doing so has been shown to improve mental health and possibly prevent cognitive failure.

The Mediterranean diet is also good for weight loss, although you must watch your portion sizes. While heart-healthy fats are good for you, some of these foods contain more calories than you think, so watch out for how much you eat.

To follow the Mediterranean diet, plan your meals around these foods:

  • Vegetables, such as beets and cabbage
  • Fruits, such as pears and bananas
  • Whole grains, such as oatmeal and brown rice
  • Legumes
  • Herbs and spices, such as turmeric
  • Nuts and seeds, such as cashews and sunflower seeds
  • Fish and seafood, such as salmon
  • Extra virgin olive oil

Eat these foods in moderation:

  • Poultry
  • Cheese
  • Eggs
  • Low-fat dairy

Limit these foods:

  • Red and processed meat
  • Added sugars
  • Refined carbohydrates and sugars
  • Refined oils
  • Highly processed foods

Dairy Elimination Diet

  • Eliminates symptoms of lactose intolerance
  • May improve digestion and decrease bloating
  • May reduce the risks of acne and some cancers
  • Can be hard to follow
  • Restrictive
  • May be more expensive

Why we chose it:  Most people who choose a dairy-free diet do so because they are lactose intolerant. Cutting out dairy can dramatically improve your symptoms if this is the case.

Lactose is a natural sugar contained in dairy products. Your body digests lactose by using the enzyme lactase. If you don't have this enzyme in your lower intestine, you may experience unpleasant symptoms when you eat dairy foods, such as nausea, cramps, bloating and diarrhea. This is a common condition in the US, affecting between 30 and 50 million Americans.

Eliminating dairy from your diet can be tricky since many foods have hidden dairy ingredients. In addition to cutting out obvious sources of dairy, such as milk, cheese and yogurt, look for the following ingredients that indicate a food contains milk proteins:

  • Whey
  • Casein
  • Diacetyl
  • Lactalbumin
  • Curd
  • Ghee
  • Rennet
  • Protein powders
  • Hydrolysates
  • Lactulose
  • Recaldent
  • Tagatose

The list of ingredients to avoid is extensive, but there are many dairy-free alternatives. Plant-based milks, such as soy, almond and coconut milk, are readily available. You can also find plant-based yogurts and desserts in the dairy or frozen aisle. These are often fortified with calcium and vitamin D.

Going dairy-free may affect your calcium levels, which is important for women. Bone density decreases with age and can lead to hip fractures, particularly in postmenopausal women. However, there are many other dietary sources of calcium besides dairy, including:

  • Tofu
  • Canned sardines
  • Sesame seeds
  • Leafy greens, such as turnips and kale
  • Almonds
  • Beans, such as white beans and kidney beans

Ads by Money. We may be compensated if you click this ad.AdAds by Money disclaimer
Having a plan is the best way to reach your weight loss goal.
Navigate your way from breakfast to dinner with a personalized Diet Plan that adjusts to your body's tranformation.
Get Started

Plant-Based Diet

  • Nutrient-dense
  • Evidence-based health benefits
  • Good for the environment
  • Can feel restrictive
  • Difficult to eat out
  • Requires constant diligence

Why we chose it:  Studies show that a plant-based, vegan diet rich in fruits and whole grains is not only more nutritious than any other diet, but also associated with a lower risk of multiple chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some cancers.

While you can eat an unhealthy vegan diet — Oreos are vegan, after all — if you focus on eating whole, plant-based foods, you'll naturally get more fiber, vitamins and antioxidants.

Plant foods contain phytochemicals, compounds with a wide range of health benefits. Different colors of plants have different phytochemicals. For instance, studies have suggested red or blue fruits and vegetables, like raspberries and blueberries, can protect against heart disease and blood clots. The phytochemicals behave much like antioxidants by reducing cellular damage caused by harmful free radicals, a type of unstable molecule.

Studies have shown that other phytochemicals have anti-inflammatory properties, which may help reduce your chances of developing type 2 diabetes, arthritis and cardiovascular disease. While still other research has linked specific phytochemicals, such as isoflavones found in soy, to reduced prostate and breast cancer risks.

Despite their many benefits, strict plant-based diets can be difficult to maintain, particularly at restaurants. Processed foods often contain animal products and other unhealthy ingredients, so you must plan carefully when eating away from home.

Fortunately, menu options are increasing as people become more aware of a plant-based diet's health and environmental benefits. Most restaurants have at least some vegan options — including those that typically cater to meat-eaters, such as fast-food burger chains.

Many plants are low in calories and high in nutrients, so you'll likely lose weight on a plant-based diet if that's your goal. A Harvard study found that vegans lost more weight than either vegetarians or meat-eaters. However, you'll still need to follow the basic rules of healthy eating and limit added sugar and refined carbohydrates. Even healthy plant oils, such as olive oil, are high in calories, so you should eat them in moderation to lose weight.

Mayo Clinic Diet

  • Proven health benefits
  • Lots of resources
  • Structured approach
  • Pay to join
  • Initial program is restrictive

Why we chose it: The Mayo Clinic Diet was created by experts at the Mayo Clinic. In addition to dietary guidelines, the program provides motivational tips and focuses on changing your behavior and building good habits that will last.

The Mayo Clinic Diet also offers options for vegan, vegetarian and healthy keto plans. However, unlike strict keto diet plans, the Mayo Clinic Diet's healthy keto plan includes plenty of vegetables and whole grains. One of the most significant benefits of whole grains is fiber. Studies have shown that a diet high in fiber has better health outcomes, like normalized bowel movements, decreased cholesterol, bowel health, lower blood sugar levels, better weight control and longer life.

The Mayo Clinic Diet begins with a free diet assessment. This assessment will evaluate how ready you are to change your diet habits, help you understand what motivates you and provide tips on making weight loss more enjoyable. Once you sign up, you'll get personalized meal plans and recipes, access to a members-only Facebook group and professional guidance on other topics that affect your health, such as sleep, stress management and exercise.

Changing diets can be difficult, but the Mayo Clinic Diet offers plenty of support. The diet starts with a two-week Lose It! phase to help you lose six to 10 pounds to jump-start your weight loss.

The Mayo Clinic Diet digital platform also includes at-home workout programs that don't require any special equipment. Overall, you can customize the Mayo Clinic Diet to suit your needs, provide a comprehensive approach to changing the way you eat and promote good habits that benefit your physical and mental well-being.


  • Nutrient-dense
  • Flexible
  • Proven to lower blood pressure
  • Limits prepared foods
  • Difficult to eat out
  • Can be time-consuming

Why we chose it: DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. This diet was created to help lower high blood pressure (hypertension), a major contributor to heart disease.

The DASH diet is low in red meat, salt, fat and added sugar. It emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole wheat, low-fat dairy and lean meats. There are two versions of the DASH diet — the regular version limits sodium to 2300 milligrams daily, and the low-sodium version limits salt to 1500 milligrams daily.

Studies have shown the DASH diet can lower blood pressure, improve cholesterol levels, help with weight loss and decrease the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Almost all prepared, packaged or canned foods contain salt, so you'll need to cook fresh foods yourself, make foods from scratch or look for low-sodium versions of prepackaged foods.

You can use the DASH diet to lower your blood pressure even if you don't need to lose weight. Although high blood pressure and excess weight often go together, some people with a normal body mass index have high blood pressure as well.

However, losing weight on the DASH diet is certainly possible. The DASH diet recommends the following portions:

  • Whole grains: Six to eight servings daily
  • Vegetables: Four to five servings daily
  • Fruits: Four to five servings daily
  • Low-fat dairy: Two to three servings daily
  • Lean chicken, meat or fish: Fewer than six servings daily
  • Nuts, seeds and legumes: Four to five servings weekly
  • Fats and oils: Two to three servings daily
  • Added sugars: Fewer than five servings weekly

Ads by Money. We may be compensated if you click this ad.AdAds by Money disclaimer
Get in shape with a customized Diet Plan
Tailored meal plans can help you achieve your fitness goals. Start your journey to a healthier you today!
Get Started

Other Diet Plans We Considered

We evaluated diet plans based on health benefits, flexibility, weight loss and nutrient value. The following diets offer some benefits but aren't among our top picks because they're either not evidence-based or are hard to follow.

Keto Diet

  • Can cause rapid weight loss
  • Can help control blood sugar
  • May reduce hunger and cravings
  • Difficult to maintain long-term
  • Can lead to nutrient deficiencies
  • May increase the risk of heart disease and stroke

The keto diet is wildly popular among its followers, but some studies have suggested it can lead to long-term health problems. It involves drastically cutting carbohydrates to below 20-50 grams daily. While cutting out refined sugar and simple carbohydrates is healthy, the keto diet also severely limits many healthy carbohydrates, such as vegetables and whole grains. Despite the hype, eating more carbs and less protein may be healthier in several ways, as long as you make the right food choices.


  • Personalized coaching
  • Flexible
  • Focuses on behavior change
  • Expensive
  • Can be restrictive
  • Time-consuming

Noom is a subscription-based weight loss program that focuses on behavior change. It doesn't promote one particular diet plan. Instead, it assigns food colors based on caloric value and nutrient density.

According to the Noom diet, you should avoid or severely restrict red foods, limit your intake of yellow foods and eat green foods freely. Noom focuses on creating new behaviors, but it involves a significant time investment in tracking what you eat, reading articles and communicating with your coach.

Diet Plans Guide

Nutrition advice can feel like it changes almost daily. One week you should avoid butter completely. The next week, you're advised to put it in your morning coffee. Despite the often conflicting messaging, most doctors and researchers agree on the broad principles of healthy eating: eat more whole, plant-based foods and less processed foods high in saturated fat and sugar.

However, there are differences in the details. Some doctors believe meat, mainly fish, is good for you, while others believe avoiding animal products completely is the best nutritional path. There's no one-size-fits-all diet plan. Your best option depends on several factors, including your health, goals and lifestyle.

What Is A Diet Plan?

A diet plan is a guideline for what you should eat and what foods you should avoid. Some diet plans are specific about the amount of food you eat and when you should eat.

A diet plan may be very specific about what you eat at each meal, such as those that use portion exchanges. Others set specific time spans in which you should eat to promote intermittent fasting. Many diet plans are mass-produced and widely available, but you can also get customized diet plans from nutritionists created just for you.

How Does A Diet Plan Work?

A diet plan usually outlines what you can eat freely, what foods you should limit and what foods you should avoid. It may also include other guidelines about combining foods, when you should eat and other healthy habits you should include in your day, such as exercising. Most diet plans are more effective if you plan what you eat ahead of time. You'll consult your diet plan and map out your meals for the next day or week. Some diet plans suggest you prep your meals ahead of time to avoid impulse eating.

What To Consider When Choosing A Diet Plan To Follow

Your nutritional needs will depend on your goals, current health issues and lifestyle, among other factors. If your primary concern is losing weight, you might choose a different diet plan than someone who wants to bulk up and build muscle. Similarly, if you have chronic kidney disease, your diet plan won't be the same as someone whose primary concern is lessening their environmental impact. Some factors you should consider include the following:

Your Goal

What is your main priority for your diet plan? Some people want to:

  • Lose weight
  • Build muscle
  • Control a chronic health condition
  • Avoid diseases
  • Live longer
  • Reduce their environmental impact
  • Promote animal welfare
  • Avoid toxic substances
  • Increase their energy levels

Once you've determined your goal, you can choose a diet plan to help you reach it.

Your Health Conditions

Your current health conditions will also influence which diet plan is best for you. If you have type 2 diabetes, you'll want to choose a diet plan that helps keep your blood sugar stable. A diet plan for high blood pressure should focus on decreasing sodium intake. Obesity can contribute to many health conditions, so losing weight can help reduce your risk of other problems.

Your Activity Level

You won't want to choose a very low-calorie diet if you work a physically demanding job or are training for a marathon in your spare time. On the other hand, if you sit at a desk for most of the day and then relax by binge-watching your favorite shows, you'll want a diet plan that's lower in calories.

Your activity level may not be fixed, with days where you get a lot of exercise mixed with sedentary days. If this is the case, look for a diet plan that allows you the flexibility to eat more or less depending on your needs that day.

Additionally, most Americans don't get enough exercise, so if you're sedentary, some of your goals should be to increase your activity level and follow a healthy diet plan.

Your Food Preferences

While you should be able to customize almost any diet plan based on your food preferences, they're worth considering before you commit. Almost anything can be included in a healthy diet in small doses. However, if you eat meat at every meal and love it, diving into a vegan diet plan probably isn't going to succeed. Instead, you can choose the Mediterranean diet, which lets you eat meat in moderation.

Your Budget

Budgeting also influences your choice of diet plan. Although the price of all groceries is on the rise due to inflation, many healthy staples, such as beans, will almost always be cheaper than prepackaged items. However, the tradeoff is usually time. When your budget is tight, buy the whole sweet potato and wash, peel and chop it yourself. When you have more money than time, buy the package of pre-peeled, pre-washed and pre-chopped sweet potatoes.

Your budget will also factor into whether you choose to DIY your diet plan or pay for a program. On the more expensive end, some programs do the work for you. You'll get pre-planned meal guides and shopping lists or even prepackaged meals you just need to heat up. At the other end of the spectrum, you'll need to plan out your own meals. You don't have to pay anything for a vegan diet plan, just avoid eating animal products. While the support of a paid plan may be worth it to you, it isn't a strict necessity. You can find a diet plan to suit any budget.

Your Available Time

As noted above, time and money frequently go together when choosing a diet plan. Some plans require a significant investment in time. Healthy eating often means planning, shopping and preparing meals at home, which is time-consuming no matter which plan you choose. However, many companies will do the work for you if you're short on time. An increasing number of meal-delivery companies will send you meals tailored to your specific diet plan.

Diet Plans FAQ

Who are diets best for?


Anyone with health goals or medical conditions will benefit from a healthy change in their eating habits. If you want to take advantage of specific diet benefits, a diet plan can ensure you get all the nutrients you need. You can customize your diet plan to help you meet your goals.

For how long should I follow a diet?


Ideally, you should find a healthy way of eating that you can follow for life. Some diets include a temporary restrictive phase when you first start to provide a motivation boost. However, whatever diet plan you choose should be one you can follow long-term.

How do I get started?


Before you start a diet plan, take some time to consider factors such as your goals, values, current health status and lifestyle. Once you know what resources you can commit to following a diet plan, you can choose one to help you achieve your goals and fit into your lifestyle.

How We Chose The Best Diet Plans

Our methodology for choosing the best diet plans included the following:

  • Evidence-based health benefits, including whether peer-reviewed studies support each diet's health claims
  • Nutrient density in the foods each diet recommends
  • Effectiveness for weight loss, and if double-blind studies back up these results
  • Ease of implementation, including food preparation time and ability to eat out while staying on the plan
  • Flexibility in planning menus and substituting foods
  • Support and availability of resources to help find a community, ask questions and follow the diet regardless of your lifestyle

Summary Of Digg's Best Diet Plans

This content is meant for educational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice or for diagnosis, prevention, or treatment of health conditions. Consult with a healthcare professional before making health-related decisions.