DASH Diet Comes Out on Top Again

DASH Diet ranked best diet overall for eighth consecutive year

(RxWiki News) In a recent report, the DASH Diet beat nearly 38 other diets and was ranked best overall diet for the eighth consecutive year.

U.S. News and World Report's panel of health experts reviewed 38 diets and, once again, the DASH Diet came out on top. In reviewing and ranking the diets, the experts looked at whether the diet was relatively easy to follow, nutritious, safe, effective for weight loss, and protective against heart disease and diabetes.

Focusing on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy foods and lean proteins like poultry, fish, lean meats, beans, and nuts, the DASH Diet tied for "best overall" diet and ranked No. 1 in the “healthy eating” and “heart disease prevention” categories.

This diet also calls for foods low in saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol. It is rich in potassium, calcium and magnesium, as well as protein and fiber. The diet also calls for a reduction in high-fat red meat, sweets and sugary beverages. In contrast to a fad diet, the DASH Diet is more of a healthy eating plan that supports long-term lifestyle changes, according to the expert panel.

DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) developed the diet to prevent and treat high blood pressure. In fact, past evidence has shown that those who follow the DASH Diet may be able to lower their blood pressure by a few points in just 14 days. Positive outcomes can be greater if the diet is followed in combination with a low-sodium diet, according to a past study on the DASH Diet.

“Our results add to the evidence that dietary interventions can be as effective as — or more effective than — antihypertensive drugs in those at highest risk for high blood pressure, and should be a routine first-line treatment option for such individuals,” said study author Dr. Stephen Juraschek, of Johns Hopkins University and Harvard Medical School, in a press release.

Considered the most common chronic health condition, high blood pressure affects an estimated 1 billion people and is a major contributor to heart disease, the NIH noted.

Although the DASH Diet was developed to lower blood pressure, it can also help lower cholesterol. Talk to your health care provider about the healthiest diet for you.