DASH Ranked Best Diet Overall
For the 8th consecutive year, U.S. News and World Report ranked the NIH-developed DASH Diet “best overall” diet among nearly 40 it reviewed. The announcement came just as new research suggests that combining DASH, or Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, with a low-sodium diet has the potential to lower blood pressure as well as or better than many anti-hypertension medications.
With its focus on vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low-fat dairy and lean proteins, DASH tied this year for “best overall” diet and was ranked No. 1 in the “healthy eating” and “heart disease prevention” categories.
According to the World Health Organization, hypertension, more commonly referred to as high blood pressure, is the most common chronic condition worldwide. It is a major risk factor for heart disease, affects 1 billion people and accounts for 1 in 8 deaths each year.
Researchers funded by NHLBI developed DASH to prevent and treat high blood pressure, but the diet also has proven highly effective in lowering blood cholesterol.
“The consistent high rankings of DASH over the years bode well for the way the diet is received and adopted, not just by health professionals, but also by the public at large,” said Janet de Jesus, registered dietitian and program officer at NHLBI’s Center for Translation Research and Implementation Science. “This is especially gratifying now that new research underscores the significant blood-pressure lowering effects of a reduced intake of sodium in combination with the DASH diet.”