Registered dietitian Mary Jo Parker weighed in on some of the more popular diets:

Weight Watchers: “It’s the old standard,” Parker said. “If you’re doing it right in terms of high fiber/low fat, it can work, and it can be one of the safer ones out there.”

Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH): Developed to fight high blood pressure, DASH did not originate as an all-purpose diet. Parker called it “good and reasonable. It’s more of a Mediterranean way of eating with healthy fats (nuts), low sodium, high calcium and potassium. It emphasizes fruits and vegetables.”

• Volumetrics: The creation of nutrition professor Barbara Rolls of Penn State University, volumetrics is a lifestyle approach that advocates eating foods high in fiber and water content so you’re getting volume but eating less of the denser foods, said Parker. “This is not a crazy wacko diet. It is based on good science and understanding of people’s appetite mechanisms, their need for feeling full.”

– Jane Kwiatkowski

Related: The DASH Diet recently was named the top diet in a U.S. News and World Report ranking. Page 10