US News & World Report published another one of their ubiquitous “Best of” lists this week. This one focused on diets. January, after all, is the month of diet resolutions 😉
For the fifth year in a row the winner was the DASH diet.
DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (or High blood pressure). It was a study implemented in the early 1990s and funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
It’s really more dietary guideline than diet, and emphasizes whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables (especially those high in minerals such as calcium, potassium and magnesium), low fat and nonfat dairy, eggs, lean meats, nuts and seeds, and good fats. A moderate amount of sodium is allowed—although there is a low-sodium version of the diet—and sugar is discouraged or limited.
A flexible and balanced diet rich in nutrients? What’s not to like?
And the sensible DASH eating plan doesn’t only lower blood pressure or help you shed pounds. It can lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels, as well.
Combined with moderate exercise, the DASH diet can reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes and cancers. Not to mention make you look and feel better.
More details can be found in the book The DASH Diet Action Plan: Proven to Lower Blood Pressure and Cholesterol without Medication (A DASH Diet Book) or on the DASH diet website.