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The Worst Diets of 2018

by Andrea Klausner, MS, RD  

In the latest rankings of popular diet plans from U.S. News World Report, the Keto Diet and the Dukan Diet scored at the bottom in Best Diets Overall and Best Diets for Healthy Eating.

By eating a lot of fat (over 70 percent of calories in some plans) and very few carbs, the Keto Diet puts your body into a state of ketosis as fat is burned instead of carbohydrates. You’ll lose weight, at least in the short term, though much of this will be water that is excreted when the body is in ketosis. That water weight will be regained when you start eating carbs again. People with kidney or liver problems should avoid this diet. It’s still unknown if the diet is beneficial or risky for people with diabetes or heart disease; more research is needed.

The Keto Diet—which comes out of therapeutic diets used for seizures and possibly other neurologic conditions, done under medical supervision—also scored low in other categories: #38 in Easiest Diets to Follow; #35 in Best Heart-Healthy Diet; #33 in Best Diabetes Diets; and #23 in Best Weight-Loss Diets.

You might also lose some weight on the high-protein/low-carb Dukan diet (named after the French doctor who developed it), but as we’ve reported before, the strict rules can be very hard to follow. More critical, Dukan ranked low because nutritional deficiencies can occur when cutting out entire food groups, and there are health concerns about eating too much protein.

Dukan was deemed #37 in Best Diets for Diabetes; #36 in Easiest Diets to Follow; and #30 in Best Weight-Loss Diets. Other low-scoring diets overall included Whole30, Body Reset, Atkins, Supercharged Hormone, Raw Food, Paleo, Acid Alkaline, Medifast, and HMR.