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DASH Deemed Best Diet

Dash Diet

The Huffington Post   Catherine Pearson First Posted: 06/08/11 02:50 PM ET Updated: 08/08/11 06:12 AM ET

Drumroll, please. When US News and World Report tasked a group of 22 health experts with ranking the best eating regimes, the DASH diet came out on top.

As its full name of "Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension" suggests, the NIH-designed eating plan is primarily aimed at lowering blood pressure. But as US News pointed out, it's good for your waistline, too. The basic gist? Cut out red meats, watch salt and eat lots of fruits, veggies and whole grains.

When ranking the various diets, experts considered a range of factors like short and long-term weight loss results, safety and how easy each diet was to follow. Cost and ease were also taken into consideration.

HuffPost blogger Dr. David Katz was among the experts consulted and said that the DASH diet won for a lot of reasons.

"It has, of course, been well studied," he said, adding that "it is fundamentally a balanced, healthful diet."

But his pick for the best? The Mediterranean diet, which came in at number two overall, and number 11 in the best weight-loss diet category. Though there's a lot of variation in terms of what said diet can entail, it too is basically about emphasizing fruits and veggies, whole grains, beans, nuts and legumes and eating foods like seafood, poultry and eggs in moderation.

Katz stressed, however, there is no need for either-or choices.

"A Medi diet can, and should, be mostly plants and thus overlap with Ornish [number eight overall], vegetarian [number nine overall], etc.," he said.

With so much overlap, the real issue, he said, isn't giving people more information about smart food choices, it's about helping them actually adopt them.

"People don't need to be told what to eat, they need skill power so that eating well is manageable," Katz said. "A 'winning' diet should not just be about what, but about how."

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