U.S. News & World Report rankings, positive study results tout NIH-developed diet

The National Institutes of Health (NIH)-developed Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet is once again making best diet lists, landing among the top diets in U.S. News and World Report for the eighth year in a row.

This announcement comes on the heels of a Dec. study, which found that combining the DASH diet — a healthy eating plan that emphasizes fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy along with moderate amounts of whole grains, fish, poultry, and nuts while calling for a reduction in high fat red meats, sweets, and sugary drinks — with a low-sodium diet can achieve substantial reduction in blood pressure among patients with pre-hypertension, stage I hypertension, and baseline systolic blood pressure ≥150 mm Hg.

And, overall, the study participants with the highest baseline blood pressure achieved the best results, “which is comparable to anti-hypertensive medications,” said study author Stephen Juraschek, MD, adjunct assistant professor at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, and instructor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, Boston, in a statement. “Our results add to the evidence that dietary interventions can be as effective as — or more effective than — antihypertensive drugs in those at highest risk for high blood pressure, and should be a routine first-line treatment option for such individuals.”

“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 by the public at large,” said Janet de Jesus, MS, registered dietitian and program officer at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute’s (NHLBI) Center for Translation Research and Implementation Science, in a statement. “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.”

U.S. News and World Report explained that the DASH diet “is balanced and can be followed long term, which is a key reason nutrition experts rank it as U.S. News’ Best Overall Diet, tied with the Mediterranean Diet.” And, while the diet was not among the best weight-loss diets, DASH ranked at No.1 in “Best Heart-Healthy Diets” and “Best Diets for Healthy Eating,” as well as #3 in “Best Diabetes Diets.”

John McKenna, Associate Editor, BreakingMED™

Cat ID: 916

Topic ID: 915,916,730,192,94,916,925