DASH Diet Voted Best Overall by US News and World Report

The DASH diet has been ranked best overall diet by U.S. News & World Report.

"Our analysis put hard numbers on the common-sense belief that no diet is ideal for everybody," the magazine said on its website. 

"The DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet beat out 19 others, among them Atkins, Jenny Craig and Slim-Fast, to win the 'Best Diets Overall," it added.

The rankings were based on scores in seven different categories--short-term weight loss, long-term weight loss, easiness to follow, nutritional completeness, ability to prevent or manage diabetes and to manage heart disease.

The DASH diet eating plan is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole gains and low-fat dairy foods; it includes meat, fish, poultry, nuts and beams; and is limited in sugar-sweetened foods and beverages, red meat, and added fats. 

The DASH diet's benefits include lower blood pressure in just 14 days, even without lowering sodium intake. It can help lower cholesterol, and with weight loss and exercise, can even reduce insulin resistance. With time, it has also been shown to reduce the risk of stroke and heart disease, as well as kidney stones. 

The DASH diet has been endorsed by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, the American Heart Association, the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, US guidelines for treatment of high blood pressure, and formed the basis for the USDA MyPyramid. 

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