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Which diet is right for you? 13 plans explained

By: Melissa Breyer on Jan. 24, 2013, 5:20 p.m.
DASH diet

Photo: SweetOnVeg/Flickr

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DASH Diet

Developed by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute to help prevent and control blood pressure, the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet, has landed in first place in the annual rankings released by U.S. News & World Report three years in a row.

The beauty of this diet is that is goes above and beyond lowering hypertension and has proven to be a great weight-loss diet as well. The diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy foods and also includes meat, fish, poultry, nuts and beans. In addition to its effect on blood pressure, it is designed to be a well-balanced approach to eating for the general public. Unlike many other diet plans, there are no restricted food groups, although sugar-sweetened foods and beverages, red meat, and added fats are limited. The DASH Diet is now recommended by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) as an overall ideal eating plan.