DASH Diet Ranked Number One In Survey Of Top Diets For 2014


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The promise of a new year gives those looking to make a fresh start the perfect opportunity to cast out the old and welcome in the new by making New Year’s resolutions that will help to revitalize their daily routines. Roughly 45 percent of Americans make at least one New Year’s resolution, according to researchers at the University of Scranton, but only eight percent manage to achieve their goal.

Not surprisingly, the pledge to diet and lose weight – by far the most common New Year’s resolution – often results in a broken resolution that helps to bring down the national average.

One of the reasons many who seek to lose weight fail to achieve their goals is due to poor selection when it comes to choosing the right kind of diet. Fad diets that require dramatically altering the way an individual eats can offer some short-term weight loss, but dieters usually end up putting back on those lost pounds and a few more once they tire of meeting such strict dietary limitations.

Fortunately, not all diets are created equal when it comes to losing or maintain weight loss. Just in time for the New Year, U.S. News & World Report has released its annual “best diets” list, so that dieters can separate healthy diets from their flashier competitors.

The magazine divided their rankings into several categories, including: Best Overall Diet, Best Weight Loss, Best Diabetes, Best Heart-Healthy, Best for Healthy Eating, Best Commercial, and Easiest to Follow.

So what diets made the list? Take a look.

Top Diets for 2014

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Once again the DASH diet remains supreme as the top diet, according to U.S. News.

Originally developed as a means to reduce a patient’s high blood pressure, the DASH diet was created by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and stresses a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Nutritional experts preferred the safe nature of the diet, and its ability to help prevent and control diabetes. The DASH diet was also named as the Best Diabetes diet and as Best for Healthy Eating.

Finishing just behind DASH was the Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes (TLC) diet which was created by the National Institutes of Health. Designed to help individuals control their cholesterol, TLC calls for dieters to consume less than 35 percent of their daily calories from fat. This requires that dieters focus on eating more lean sources of protein and low-fat dairy products, while increasing their daily intake of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Finally, there was a three way tie for third place, as Weight Watchers, the Mediterranean diet, and the Mayo Clinic diet all finished with scores that placed them just below the top two. Judges described the Mayo diet as a wonderful tool against diabetes and good in nutrition, while the Mediterranean received high marks for its sensible approach to weight loss. Weight Watchers – which also earned top marks as Best Commercial and Best Weight Loss diet – was lauded for its easy to follow program and healthy approach to both short and long-term weight loss.

Failing to Make the Grade

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Several new diets to make the World Report rankings for the first time this year also received some of the lowest rankings.

The Fast diet – which calls for eating normally five days a week, only to drastically cut calorie consumption for the remaining two days – the Acid-Alkaline diet – which requires dieters to avoid acid-forming foods such as red meats – and the Spark Solution diet all received middling to lower-end grades.

Looking at the diets that received the highest marks, it become fairly clear what they all have in common. Dieters need to increase the number of fresh fruits and vegetable servings they enjoy a week, while also cutting back on saturated fats. By making just a few changes to what they eat, dieters can enjoy remarkable success lowering their risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, prevent gum disease, and number of other chronic health problems.

John Nickelbottom is a freelance health writer.

Image Credit: 1, 2, 3.

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