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Best diets of 2018 revealed

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*DASH comes top for 8th year in a row as nutritionists slam keto, Whole30
Just in time for the New Year’s detox, United States (U.S.) health officials have revealed the best and worst diets to choose.

The DASH diet reigns supreme for the eighth year in the row with its emphasis on vegetables and whole grains, and low intake of red meat, sweets, and sugary drinks, according to the annual ranking of 38 diets by the National Institutes of Health.

To receive top ratings a diet must be relatively easy to follow, nutritious, safe, effective for weight loss and protective against diabetes and heart disease.

Meanwhile the highly-restrictive keto and Whole30 diets were named the least safe and effective.

“DASH is not a fad diet, but a healthy eating plan that supports long-term lifestyle changes,” the authors wrote in the U.S. News & World Report analysis.

Registered dietitian Abbey Sharp told Daily Mail Online the findings are no surprise – and should encourage people to avoid restrictive ‘cleanse’ diets, which ultimately tend to lead to weight gain.

DASH
Designed as an approach to lower hypertension, the ‘DASH’ eating plan is rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and lean proteins.

In December, Harvard University researchers found the DASH diet is the best cure for high blood pressure – the world’s most chronic health condition – and in turn triggers weight loss and improves mental health.

Ketogenic
The ketogenic diet – favored by the likes of Halle Berry and Kourtney Kardashian – eliminates carbs, cuts down on most protein, and ramps up one’s fat intake.

Whole30
The Whole30 diet involves cutting out sugar, alcohol, grains, legumes, soy, and dairy for 30 days.

“The DASH and Mediterranean diet are consistently ranked as number one because they don’t completely eliminate any foods,” Sharp, who runs Abbey’s Kitchen, said.

“They are well balanced, and easy to follow because they include a wide variety of satiating and delicious foods – including red wine!

“They also are backed up by an extensive amount of research to support their significant impact on heart health.

“The keto and whole 30 diets, in contrast, are incredibly restrictive.

“While restriction may lead to quick weight loss, anything restrictive has a tendency to backfire in the long run and lead to rebound weight gain.”

Designed as an approach to lower hypertension, the ‘DASH’ eating plan is rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and lean proteins.

Just last month a landmark paper from Harvard University found the diet is the best cure for high blood pressure – the world’s most chronic health condition – and in turn triggers weight loss and improves mental health.

The ketogenic diet – favored by the likes of Halle Berry and Kourtney Kardashian – eliminates carbs, cuts down on most protein, and ramps up one’s fat intake.

The Whole30 diet involves cutting out sugar, alcohol, grains, legumes, soy, and dairy for 30 days.

Sharp explains the things that those diets eliminate are crucial for our health.

“Both diets cut out really nutritious foods like pulses, some vegetables and whole grains, all of which are celebrated on the DASH and Mediterranean diet for their role in reducing the risk of disease and promoting satiety,” Sharp said.

The DASH diet was designed by researchers funded by US National Institute of Health (NIH’s) National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI).

It was initially created as a method to prevent and treat high blood pressure, but the diet also has proven highly effective in lowering blood cholesterol, and has been taken up as a weight loss method.

“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, 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.”

Previous research has shown that people who follow the DASH diet may be able to reduce their blood pressure by a few points in just two weeks.

Over time, their systolic blood pressure (the top number in a blood pressure reading) could drop by eight to 14 points, which significantly reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease.

According to the researchers, the diet can be enhanced further if it is combined with a low sodium diet.

A study funded by the same unit of more than 400 adults with prehypertension, or stage 1 high blood pressure, found that the combination of a low-salt diet with DASH substantially lowers systolic blood pressure.

According to de Jesus, the results were striking: the biggest drops in blood pressure were seen in the people who started out with the highest levels.

“An interesting aspect of the DASH diet is that the effects are greater in people with hypertension or higher blood pressure at baseline, which is comparable to anti-hypertensive medications,” said the study’s first author Dr Stephen Juraschek, an adjunct assistant professor at Johns Hopkins University.

“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.”



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