Special Report

The 18 Most Popular Diets in America

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13. Mediterranean diet
> Share of Americans on it: 5%

Studies have shown that by eating a diet inspired by the eating habits of those who live near the Mediterranean Sea (the original study that inspired this idea was conducted on the Greek island of Crete), the risk of heart disease and early death is lowered. The Mediterranean diet prioritizes unprocessed grains, legumes, olive oil, fruits, and vegetables, and moderate amounts of fish, dairy, and meat.

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12. Weight-loss plan diet
> Share of Americans on it: 5%

There’s no specific single weight-loss plan diet that’s been proven to be better than any other, but weight-loss plan diets are customized to the dieter in order to prioritize dropping pounds. They involve making healthy food choices, breaking unhealthy habits, limiting portion sizes, and incorporating exercise into a daily routine.

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11. Low-carb diet
> Share of Americans on it: 6%

The low-carb diet minimizes foods that are high in carbohydrates, including bread, grains, beans, sweets, pasta, and starchy vegetables.

10. Ketogenic or high-fat diet
> Share of Americans on it: 7%

The ketogenic diet also sharply reduces carbs, but kicks up the amount of fat. This puts your body into a condition called ketosis, where fat instead of sugar is burned for energy, resulting in weight loss. Critics point out potential health issues with the diet, and it can be extremely dangerous for diabetics.

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9. Flexitarian diet
> Share of Americans on it: 7%

A combination of the words “flexible” and “vegetarian,” the flexitarian diet – also called the semi-vegetarian diet – is primarily vegetarian, but doesn’t completely abandon meat. A flexitarian will primarily eat fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and plant-based proteins, but will also indulge in a burger or roast chicken occasionally.

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