Fitness junkies may freak out after reading the U.S. News & World Report that the Paleo Diet is ranked last on their “Best Diets Overall” list for 2014. Each year, U.S. News & World Report asks experts to rank various nutrition plans in an effort to help consumers make informed decisions. This year the panel looked over 32 different popular diet fads.
To be considered top-rated, a diet has to be relatively easy to follow, safe, effective for weight loss, protective against diabetes and heart disease, and nutritious.First made popular in the 1970s, the Paleo Diet suggests people to follow a diet similar to those who lived during the Paleolithic era, between 2.6 and 10,000 years ago. This means eating similar to hunters and gatherers – consuming only animal protein and produce, while avoiding sugar, grains, legumes, and dairy entirely.
“If the cavemen didn’t eat it, you shouldn’t either,” U.S. News & World summarized.
The diet has gained a significant following in recent years, especially among the Cross Fit crowd per CNN News. In fact, the term “Paleo Diet” was the most searched diet term on Google in 2013.
While the Paleo Diet is ranked last on the “Best Diets” list this doesn’t necessarily mean Paleo is the worst diet. The U.S. News & World Report’s experts say the Paleo Diet is too restrictive for most people to follow long term, and it limited some essential nutrients. Another ding to the diet? The lack of research proving the Paleo Diet’s cardiovascular health and weight loss benefits.
The Paleo Diet was tied in last past with the Dukan diet, another high-protein, low-carbohydrate approach.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, the DASH Diet Eating Plan was named the best overall diet for the fourth year in a row. It claims to be effective in lowering cholesterol and reducing a person’s risk for heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and kidney shows, its website states.