WASHINGTON — US News & World Report for the third straight year rated the Mediterranean diet as the top overall diet for people to follow as part of health-related resolutions for the New Year. The Mediterranean diet also stayed atop the rankings for best diet for healthy eating, easiest diet to follow, best diet for diabetes and best plant-based diet.

The Mediterranean diet focuses on eating less red meat, sugar and saturated fat and consuming more produce, nuts and whole grains.

The Flexitarian Diet, rated the third-best diet overall last year, tied the DASH diet for second place this year. Panelists gave the Flexitarian Diet high ratings for nutritional completeness and safety and noted it is supported by clinical research. The DASH Diet aims to prevent and lower hypertension.

Weight Watchers, the No. 4 overall diet, was No. 1 in two categories: best commercial diet and best weight-loss diet. The HMR Diet stood atop the rankings for best fast weight-loss diet. The Ornish Diet was No. 1 for best heart-healthy diet.

Nutritionists, dietary consultants and physicians specializing in diabetes, heart health and weight loss made up a panel that created the rankings. The 25 panelists scored 35 diets in seven areas, including ease of compliance, likelihood of losing significant weight in the short term and long term, and effectiveness against cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

“Whether you’re trying to lose weight or improve heart health, diets are not one size fits all,” said Angela Haupt, managing editor of health at US News & World Report. “The 2020 best diets rankings provide consumers with the information and data needed to make an informed decision that helps them, along with input from their doctor or other medical professional, choose the plan that’s best for them. The in-depth coverage of diets empowers consumers to narrow down the options and make a choice that reflects their lifestyle, personal preferences and overall goal.”