U.S. News & World Report’s Best Diets 2012 was announced earlier this week and the DASH Diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension), which was created by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, finds itself in the top spot for the second year in a row.
Originally developed as a way to lower blood pressure through diet, this eating plan focused on high fiber foods such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables; low fat dairy products, poultry, legumes and nuts (see this list). As a result, it is high in fiber and low in sodium, saturated fat, cholesterol and added sugars.
A typical day on the DASH Diet will find you consuming the following:
- 7 to 8 servings of whole grains,
- 4 to 5 servings of vegetables
- 4 to 5 servings of fruit
- 2 to 3 servings of low fat dairy
- 1 to 2 servings of meat, poultry or fish
- 2 to 3 servings of fats and oils
One a weekly basis, you can also add in:
- 4 to 5 servings of nuts, seeds or legumes
- less than 5 servings of sweets
The U.S. News & World Report’s Best Diets 2012 results were calculated by 22 member of a panel with expertise in obesity, nutrition, diet, food psychology, diabetes and heart disease. Twenty-five diet plans were considered for the honors. The experts look at the following categories when evaluating the plans: is the plan easy to follow; what type of long term and short term results do they produce; nutritional profile and completeness; safety and effect on heard disease and diabetes.