DASH diet named most effective

Now that the new year has started, lots of folks -- including me -- are trying to shed the pounds that accumulated over the holiday season. All those cakes and candies have a way of gathering around my waist each December, requiring a burn-off in January (and Feburary and March and ...).  If you're looking for a diet to help, you might consider the DASH diet, which was named the "best diet overall" by U.S. News & World Report in its "2012 Best Diets Rankings."

As I noted last year, when the DASH diet book was hot, the eating plan was developed by a federal agency, the National Institutes of Health, so it comes with a good heritage. DASH, which stands for Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension, is designed to lower blood pressure without medication. The DASH diet is based on common-sense eating: lots of fruits and vegetables, and low- or non-fat dairy products. Eat whole grains, lean meats, fish and poultry; nuts and beans. Even if you don't have high blood pressure, it's a solid plan.

And here's a bonus: You don't have to spend money to get your diet on track. The basics of the DASH diet, can be found on the NIH website. You'll also find a helpful list of recipes to heklp you through the year.

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