U.S. News Names Pennington Biomedical and Partners’ DASH Diet the Best Diet for Healthy Eating in 2020

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DASH Diet Ranks Top 3 in Multiple Categories, Including Best Overall, Diabetes
Released: Thursday, January 02, 2020

Baton Rouge, Louisiana — As millions of Americans resolve to make the New Year healthier, U.S. News & World Report today released its annual assessment of the year’s Best Diets. The DASH Diet, developed in part by LSU’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center dietitians, ranked as a top diet in multiple categories, including:

  • Best Diets for Healthy Eating (No. 1)
  • Best Diets Overall (No. 2)
  • Best Diets for Diabetes (No. 2)
  • Best Heart-Healthy Diets (No. 3)
  • Easiest Diets to Follow (No. 6)
  • Best Weight-Loss Diets (No. 10)

“There are a lot of advantages to the DASH Diet. It is one of the best diets for healthy eating and diabetes. It lowers blood pressure naturally. It’s heart-healthy,” said Catherine Champagne, PhD, Professor and Director of Pennington Biomedical’s Dietary Assessment and Nutrition Counseling Laboratory.

Click Here for Free Dash Diet Eating Plan

Others agree. When the U.S. Department of Agriculture drafted its most recent Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the agency patterned those recommendations after the DASH Diet, Champagne said.

Dr. Champagne worked as a member of the DASH Diet Collaborative Research Group that included members from Brigham and Women’s Hospital; Duke Hypertension Center and the Sarah W. Stedman Nutrition and Metabolism Center; and Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. DASH is short for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension.

The DASH Diet encourages eating foods low in sodium, saturated and total fat, and cholesterol and high in potassium, calcium, fiber, magnesium and protein. Dr. Champagne, who hails from south Louisiana, points out that “You can even use Cajun seasonings instead of salt, if you like. There are many that taste good and are salt-free.”

To determine the rankings, U.S. News convened an expert panel of the country’s top nutritionists, dietary consultants and physicians specializing in diabetes, heart health and weight loss. Through an in-depth survey, 25 panelists scored 35 diets in seven areas, including ease of compliance, likelihood of losing significant weight in the short and long term, and effectiveness against cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

“The fundamentals of sustainable, healthful eating do not change every year, but the ways to get there, the range of variants on that common theme, and the most current evidence all do,” said expert panelist Dr. David L. Katz, founding director of the Yale University Prevention Research Center, and President of the True Health Initiative. “By pooling the assessments of diverse experts to bundle all of that essential information into a single, user-friendly, and always eagerly anticipated report, U.S. News is providing a unique and genuinely empowering service."

For further details on how the rankings were calculated, see the methodology.

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, funded the research for the DASH Diet.



About LSU's Pennington Biomedical Research Center

LSU's Pennington Biomedical Research Center is at the forefront of medical discovery as it relates to understanding the triggers of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer and dementia. The center conducts basic, clinical and population research, and is affiliated with Louisiana State University. The research enterprise at Pennington Biomedical includes over 450 employees within a network of 40 clinics and research laboratories, and 13 highly specialized core service facilities. Its scientists and physician/scientists are supported by research trainees, lab technicians, nurses, dietitians and other support personnel. Pennington Biomedical is located in state-of-the-art research facilities on a 222-acre campus in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.