Special Report

The 18 Most Popular Diets in America

Source: vaaseenaa / iStock via Getty Images

18. Vegan diet
> Share of Americans on it: 2%

A strict vegan diet completely excludes any and all animal and animal-derived products, from meat to eggs to dairy and, for some people, even honey.

Source: clubfoto / iStock via Getty Images

17. Cleanse diet
> Share of Americans on it: 2%

Cleanse diets, which focus on “detoxification,” are generally short-term, lasting from five days to a couple weeks, on average. Fruits, vegetables, juices, water, herbs, teas, and supplements are common, and occasionally colon cleanses or enemas are involved. Adherents claim that cleanse diets remove “toxins” from the body and decrease inflammation, but the research on their effectiveness is lacking, and doctors say that it’s the job of healthy kidneys, liver, and colon to cleanse the body of toxins..

Source: YinYang / E+ via Getty Images

16. Paleo diet
> Share of Americans on it: 3%

The idea of the paleo diet is to eat the foods eaten by those who lived in the Paleolithic Era, from around 2.5 million to 10,000 years ago. The concept is that our bodies are not adapted to eating foods developed after the advent of modern farming, and that early humans ate a diet that our bodies evolved to align with. Paleo diets prioritize fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, eggs, lean meats, and fish, and shun grains, legumes, dairy, starchy vegetables, too much salt and sugar, and processed foods.

Source: vaaseenaa / iStock via Getty Images

15. Vegetarian diet
> Share of Americans on it: 3%

Perhaps the best-known diet of them all, the vegetarian diet excludes meat, poultry, and seafood. Animal products including eggs and dairy are still permitted, and some vegetarians – who may style themselves “pescatarians,” do eat fish and shellfish.

Source: marilyna / Getty Images

14. DASH eating plan diet
> Share of Americans on it: 4%

DASH is short for “Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension,” and the associated diet prioritizes a heart-healthy lifestyle. The plan recommends eating lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, fish, poultry, beans, and nuts, and limits sugar, sodium, and saturated and trans fats.

Sponsored: Find a Qualified Financial Advisor

Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to 3 fiduciary financial advisors in your area in 5 minutes. Each advisor has been vetted by SmartAsset and is held to a fiduciary standard to act in your best interests. If you’re ready to be matched with local advisors that can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.