U.S. News Names DASH Diet One of Best Diets for 2022

Jan. 4, 2022

For more information, contact Ted Griggs, ted.griggs@pbrc.edu, 225-288-8840

Pennington Biomedical Helped Develop the Heart-Healthy Eating Plan

BATON ROUGE, LOUISIANA – Looking for a healthy eating plan to kick off the New Year? Why not try the DASH Diet, developed in part by Pennington Biomedical Research Center and one of U.S. News & World Report’s Best Diets for 2021.

The DASH Diet is ranked as a top diet in multiple categories, including:
• Best Diets Overall (No. 2)
• Best Diets for Healthy Eating (No. 2)
• Best Heart-Healthy Diets (No. 3)
• Best Diets for People with Diabetes (No. 5)
• Easiest Diets to Follow (No. 6)

“The continuing threat of COVID-19 has shown just how vital it is to follow a healthy lifestyle, and one of the best ways to improve your health is the proper diet,” said Catherine Champagne, Ph.D., Professor and Director of Pennington Biomedical’s Dietary Assessment and Nutrition Counseling Laboratory. “U.S. News’ latest rankings demonstrate once again why the DASH Diet is such a good choice.  It is highly ranked for healthy eating and heart health and helps people with diabetes control their disease. One of the biggest advantages the DASH Diet offers is that it’s easy to follow. Everyone in the family can follow the eating plan so you don’t have to spend extra time or energy creating additional meals.”

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.

Although the DASH Diet has been one of U.S. News & World Report’s top-ranked diets for more than 11 years, Dr. Champagne said people often ask her why they haven’t heard about it before.

“DASH is a science-backed eating plan.  It’s not a fad diet, so it doesn’t get a lot of hype,” she said. 

The DASH Diet encourages eating foods low in sodium, saturated and total fat, and cholesterol and high in potassium, calcium, fiber, magnesium and protein. However, Dr. Champagne, a south Louisiana native, said low sodium does not have to mean a lack of flavor.

“The good news for people who love food is that the DASH Diet recipes taste good, too,” she said. “You can use salt-free Cajun seasonings, and your food still tastes like it was cooked in Louisiana.” 

“The DASH Diet is one of the best examples of Pennington Biomedical putting scientific discovery into the hands of our community,” said Executive Director John Kirwan, Ph.D. “DASH is a real food diet. It’s practical information that can change a person’s life for the better.”

For more information on the rankings and how they were calculated, click here.  The rankings, together with the advice of a doctor or nutritionist, can guide Americans to a longer and healthier life.

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

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About the Pennington Biomedical Research Center
The 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 architected the “Obecity, USA” awareness and advocacy campaign to help solve the obesity epidemic by 2040.  The Center conducts basic, clinical, and population research, and is affiliated with Louisiana State University.  The research enterprise at Pennington Biomedical includes over 480 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.  For more information, see https://www.pbrc.edu.

Pennington Biomedical Research Center
6400 Perkins Road
Baton Rouge, LA 70808