Fad diets come and go, but one healthy-eating diet that has endured is the DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension).
For the seventh year in a row, DASH was named “best overall diet” by a panel of experts. DASH also topped the list as “best plan for healthy eating” and “best diabetes plan,” and it tied with the Ornish Diet for “best diet for heart health.”
The DASH Diet was created by researchers looking for a way to prevent and treat high blood pressure, but it’s proven to be effective for losing weight, lowering blood cholesterol and managing diabetes, too. The research behind DASH was funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
Why is it so popular? Most likely because it is a balanced, plant-focused way of eating that is high in fruits and vegetables, nuts, low- and nonfat dairy, lean meat, fish and poultry, whole grains and heart-healthy fats—and it is neither extreme nor restrictive.
The Mediterranean diet (low in meat, sugar and fat, and high in produce and nuts) came second on the best overall diet list, followed by the MIND diet (focusing on brain-healthy foods). Fourth place was a four-way tie between the Flexitarian diet (mostly but not completely vegetarian), the Mayo Clinic Diet (a food pyramid featuring a lot of fruits, vegetables and grains), the TLC diet (very low in saturated fat) and Weight Watchers® (healthy foods and portions with a point system).