The DASH diet took the No. 1 spot in best overall diet in the U.S. News and World Report's Best Diets 2012, which also rates other popular diets in various categories.
That diet plan also took top ranking as the best diet for healthy eating and the best diabetes diet (tied with the Biggest Loser diet). The DASH diet (it stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) may also help lower cholesterol, as it's big on whole grains, fruits, vegetables and lean proteins -- not a bad program for a number of people.
A 2008 study in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that among 88,517 women who were followed for 24 years, the DASH diet was associated with a lower risk of coronary heart disease and stroke in middle age.
Weight Watchers ranked high as well, voted best weight-loss diet, best commercial diet plan and easiest diet to follow. Weight Watchers also came out ahead in a September 2011 study in the journal the Lancet, in which 772 overweight and obese adults were randomly assigned to be treated by a doctor, or to Weight Watchers. Those in the Weight Watchers program lost about twice as much as those under a doctor's care.