And the Best Diet Is...

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And the Best Diet Is...

Read on to learn what scientists have learned about the most popular diets.

The scientific publisher Annual Reviews asked Dr. David Katz of Yale University's Prevention Research Center to examine and compare existing evidence about various mainstream diets.

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Dr. Katz examined the evidence surrounding popular diets like low-carbohydrate, vegan, low-glycemic, Mediterranean, Paleolithic and more.

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Dr. Katz uncovered and listed the best eating habits among the studied diets.

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Across the board, Dr. Katz found that "a diet of minimally processed foods close to nature, predominantly plants, is decisively associated with health promotion and disease prevention."

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Dr. Katz and his colleague Stephanie Meller found "no decisive evidence" suggesting that low-fat diets are healthier than those high in heart-healthy fats like ones found in the Mediterranean diet.

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The Mediterranean diet also was found to ward off heart disease, obesity, cancer and metabolic syndrome.

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Low carb diets weren't as beneficial as carbohydrate-selective diets that emphasized whole grains.

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Dr. Katz was particularly critical of the Paleo diet, which emphasizes good quality meat as the natural food our ancestors ate. Today's meat is nothing like the meat that our ancestors consumed.

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His research found a low-glycemic plan to be reasonable because high glycemic foods are associated with an increased risk of heart disease.

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Dr. Katz explained that quick fix diets were almost as bad as junk food.

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Dr. Katz believes one need not diet at all if he or she just eats foods from nature. He told The Atlantic, "If you eat food direct from nature, you don’t even need to worry about trans fat or saturated fat or salt – most of our salt comes from processed food, not the salt shaker."

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Dr. Katz also says that eating foods from nature provides you with all the necessary nutrients anyway.

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Ultimately, Dr. Katz fully supports Michael Pollan's simplistic approach to eating. Pollan writes,"Eat food, not too much, mostly plants."

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New diets pop up practically every day.

Between weight loss ads, lobbyists and diet books, it's no wonder we're all so confused about the healthiest way to approach food. Low calorie or vegetarian? Mediterranean or gluten-free?

That's why Dr. David Katz decided to find out the science behind the most popular diets on the market. While the results don't offer a black and white conclusion — like so many diet propose — they do offer some crucial insight about food choice. Dr. Katz's findings are shockingly simple.

Check out the slideshow above to learn which diet is the best of them all. Then check out Hollywood's Trick to Slimming Down Fast by our friends at StyleList.

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