If you're looking for a diet that's credible, well-balanced and effective, then this might just be 'the one'! The DASH diet has been named 'the best overall diet of the year' for the fifth time in a row by the U.S. News & World Report. DASH stands for 'Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension' and has proven to be extremely effective for those with high blood pressure by studies sponsored by the National Institute of Health. Besides being awarded the best diet, it's also won the 'Best Diet for Diabetes' and 'Best Diet for Healthy Eating'.
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The DASH diet is a low salt/low sodium diet which includes high intake of fruits and vegetables, low-fat and non-fat dairy products and a lot of whole grains. It's a high fiber diet that includes food with low to moderate levels of fat. It's rich in potassium, calcium and magnesium. It tells you to cut down on the consumption of sweetened food and beverages, fat and salt, and promotes a nutritious dietary habit. Studies conducted in the past have shown that the DASH diet is beneficial to individuals with hypertension or pre-hypertension and helps lower systolic and diastolic pressure. This diet recommends a daily intake of 1,600 to 3,100 calories a day.
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The panel of judges that reviewed the diets included experts in nutrition, weight-loss and heart health. They assessed 41 diets on the basis of nutritional value, ease, short-term and long-term goals, and safety. The second best overall diet was the 'Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes (TLC) Diet' which is extremely popular with those looking to lower their cholesterol. It tells you to cut out saturated fat from the diet which would mean eliminating meat and milk products.
The Mediterranean Diet was recongnised as the 'best plant-based diet'. The highlight of this diet is the heavy use of olive oil along with fresh vegetables, grains, lentils and moderate consumption of seafood, yogurt and red wine. This diet has received a lot of attention from health experts with various studies indicating that it promotes heart health and prevents diabetes. All the ingredients used in this diet are rich in antioxidants that fight inflammation and protect you against chronic diseases. (This diet may help you live longer)
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What's surprising is that the Paleo Diet did not rank too well and was found somewhere in the second half of the list. One of the panelists was quoted saying that it's because the diet consists of a restrictive eating plan and may be hard for many to follow. The diet that was crowned the best weight-loss diet was 'The Weight Watchers' diet which consists of prepared meals that they deliver to your doorstep. (Is there any science behind the latest fad regimes?)
Now that you've got a fair idea of diets that work and diets that don't, find one that suits your lifestyle, club it with a good exercise regime and strive towards a healthier 2015. (6 tips that help you stick to your diet plan)