The DASH Diet Eating Plan has been named "Best Overall Diet" by U.S. News & World Report for the third year in a row.
DASH, which stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, focuses on lowering one's daily sodium intake rather than restricting certain foods. The meal plan consists primarily of vegetables and fruit, allowing for six and four servings a day respectively, while also requiring a daily consumption of three whole-grain products, two to four dairy products and several lean meat servings a day.
"Though obscure, it beat out a field full of better-known diets," wrote U.S. News & World Report, adding, "It certainly looked like an all-star to our panel of experts."
"To be top-rated, a diet had to be relatively easy to follow, nutritious, safe and effective for weight loss and against diabetes and heart disease," according to the report
The report evaluated 29 diets and a panel of 22 "nationally recognized experts" reviewed each diet plan's profiles in seven categories, including how easy the diet is to follow, its overall safety, nutritional completeness, and its likelihood to produce short-term and long-term weight loss, among other conditions.
When it came to the "Best Diet for Weight Loss," Weight Watchers received top honors, with panelists concluding that, on average, participants would lose two pounds per week on the diet.
The Biggest Loser Diet, Jenny Craig, and the Raw Food Diet, which was shown to deliver both short- and long-term weight loss "since raw foodists typically eat fewer calories than most other people" according to the report, were all tied for second in the weight-loss category.
Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig, in that order, were also rated "Best Heart-Healthy Diets" and "Easiest Diets to Follow" by the expert panel.
The DASH diet also received top honors for "Best Diet for Healthy Eating," while the Ornish Diet, a low-fat diet that will likely prevent or control diabetes, was named "Best Heart-Healthy Diet."
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