U.S. News sizes up best diets
NEW YORK CITY, N.Y.; January 4, 2012 (WPVI) -- Just in time for all those New Year's resolutions to eat better comes the new list of best diets, from U.S News and World Report.
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The magazine asked an independent panel of experts to evaluate 20 popular diets, ranging from Weight Watchers to Slim-Fast.
They say the DASH diet was the best overall.
DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. It was created in the 1990s in conjunction with the National Institutes of Health to help reduce high blood pressure. But it also brings down pounds through portion control, and an emphasis on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy foods. It calls for less red meat and sugar-sweetened foods & beverages.
The experts say one big plus to the DASH diet is that it's free! The whole plan is online, at: a href="http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/public/heart/hbp/dash/new_dash.pdf">DASH eating plan.
As for the easiest diet to follow, Weight Watchers won out, because it uses everyday foods, has flexibility, and there are instructional videos available online.
U.S. News & World Report put the diets into various categories, including Heart-Healthy Diets, Weight Loss, Diabetes Diets, Healthy Living, and for the first time, Easiest Diets.
A number of the diets on the Easiest Diets list rely on prepackaged foods. The cost of the food can range from $400 to $600 a month.
Experts say that reliance is unrealistic, because they don't require the lifestyle changes needed to improve health, rather than rein in bad habits. And, they say once a person stops eating the prepackaged foods, they may go back to their old ways.
Consumer Reports' 2011 rankings placed Jenny Craig and Slim-Fast at the top.
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