For many, the new year means making healthy eating resolutions. Adopting a quick-fix diet is tempting for those with a busy life, but it doesn’t usually last very long. For those who are interested in changing their eating patterns without falling off the grid in a month, it would be a good idea to check out the DASH diet.
The U.S. News & World Report published their annual diet ranking for 38 diet plans. It considered which diets were the most effective, long-lasting, and easy-to-integrate. They examined several categories, such as weight-loss, diabetes, and heart disease. For the seventh year in a row, the DASH diet came out on top, ranking first as the overall best diet. “DASH” is an acronym for dietary approaches to stop hypertension. The diet was created by The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute to help lower blood pressure. It focuses on limiting salt, and eating more whole grains, fruits and vegetables. If you would like to learn more about the DASH Diet, click here.
An article on WebMD sums up the winners of the diet ranking list: from DASH, to the Mediterranean diet, to Weight Watchers. “This year’s list of diets reflects the long-standing body of evidence that shows weight loss, a true change in body fat levels, is achieved through changes in lifestyle behaviours including food choices, portions, and activity,” says Connie Diekman, a registered dietitian.
The key to committing to a diet? Choosing the right one for you. According to the article, it is important to pick a diet that is practical for your diet, citing Angela Haupt, assistant managing editor of health for U.S. News, who said that a person who loves eating out would not enjoy a diet that involves cooking meals at home. The article also mentions that fad diets, such as “Whole30”, a month-long diet that forbids legumes, grains, dairy, alcohol, processed food, and added sugars, aren’t usually the most effective because they are too confining.
The key is balance, not limiting yourself from certain food groups. “This list might not be the quick-fix answer so many people want, but it is a list of reputable, maintainable, and healthful eating plans that will help people achieve weight loss,” says Diekman. “The top-rated eating plans will help people create a lifestyle eating plan to help them avoid the ‘on-and-off’ routine of most fad diets.”
So this year, before you start a new diet, think about how the diet lines up with your lifestyle. To look at the rankings yourself, read the article here.
Hypertension Canada is the only national non-profit organization dedicated solely to the prevention and control of hypertension and its complications in Canada. Powered by a professional volunteer network of the leading multidisciplinary experts in hypertension, Hypertension Canada publishes the nation’s clinical practice guidelines for the diagnosis, treatment and control of hypertension and pursues its mission through the advancement of research, professional and public education, and advocacy for healthy environments. Visit www.hypertension.ca for more information.