I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not exactly a fan of diets. Often more trouble than they are worth, diets are infamous for being difficult, expensive, unhealthy and unsustainable. Every year the US News & World Report takes a deeper look at the popular diets in the health world and with the help of a panel of experts, ranks them from best to worst.
Taking a look at 38 popular diets, a panel of nutritionists, dietitians, diabetes and heart disease experts gave their professional opinion on everything from the Paleo diet to Weight Watchers. Each diet was judged based on a number of factors including how easy it was to follow, nutritional value, if it was safe, how effective it was for weight loss and how protective it was against heart disease and diabetes.
At the end of the process the DASH diet came out on top and scored an impressive 4.2 out of 5 points. The diet that stands for “dietary approaches to stop hypertension” was developed by health professionals with the intention of helping people to lower their blood pressure.
“Nutrients like potassium, calcium, protein and fibre are crucial to fending off or fighting high blood pressure,” the report reads. “You don’t have to track each one, though. Just emphasise the foods you’ve always been told to eat (fruits, veggies, whole grains, lean protein and low-fat dairy), while shunning those we’ve grown to love (calorie- and fat-laden sweets and red meat). Top it all off by cutting back on salt, and voila!”
While the diet wasn’t designed specifically as a weight loss diet, studies have found that those who went on the DASH diet for four months lost an average of about eight kilograms. Having won the title of best diet for its seventh year in a row, it could be time to start taking notice of the DASH diet in 2017.