U.S. News & World Report’s 2024 Best Diets: DASH Diet Again Ranked in Multiple Categories
January 3, 2024 · Baton Rouge, LA
With the new year, individuals across the globe are looking for healthy eating options as part of those New Year’s resolutions, and U.S. News & World Report’s annual release of its Best Diets rankings can assist people in making informed decisions about achieving their health goals.
In this year’s new rankings, the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, or DASH, Diet, developed in part by Pennington Biomedical Research Center scientists, has once again been ranked as a top diet in multiple categories, including:
- Best Diets Overall (No. 2)
- Best Heart-Healthy Diets (No. 2)
- Best Diabetes Diets (No. 2)
- Best Diets for Bone and Joint Health (No. 2)
- Best Diets for Healthy Eating (No. 3)
- Easiest Diets to Follow (No. 3)
- Best Family Friendly Diets (No. 3)
- Best Weight-Loss Diets (No. 5)
“We have all seen fad diets come and go. But sound research went into the design of the DASH Diet, and Pennington Biomedical played a huge part in its development,” said Dr. John Kirwan, Executive Director of Pennington Biomedical. “Each year, U.S. News & World Report’s rankings show that the DASH Diet is a proven plan for healthy eating, and we are pleased with our long history and association with the DASH Diet.”
Pennington Biomedical’s Dr. George Bray, Dr. Donna Ryan and Dr. Catherine Champagne were among the lead developers of the diet. They were joined in the DASH Diet Collaborative Research Group by scientists from Brigham and Women’s Hospital; Duke Hypertension Center and the Sarah W. Stedman Nutrition and Metabolism Center; and Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions to develop the diet.
The successful study results were published in this 1997 New England Journal of Medicine publication, which has been cited by other researchers about 6,000 times since original publication.
“The DASH Diet is a great choice because it is proven to help those with a history of heart disease or people with diabetes, but it is really a diet plan for everyone because it is easy to follow, and it can work for anyone in the family,” said Dr. Champagne, professor and registered dietitian nutritionist at Pennington Biomedical. “The diet was scientifically proven to be very effective for reducing blood pressure naturally. In our clinical trial, it was effective for men, women – really all demographic groups you can list.”
The DASH Diet, known for fighting high blood pressure, received praise for its nutritional completeness, safety, ability to prevent or control diabetes and supporting heart health, according to U.S. News & World Report.
The DASH Diet is an eating plan that is low in saturated fat, cholesterol, and total fat and that emphasizes fruits, vegetables, and fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products. The diet includes whole grain products, fish, poultry and nuts, while reducing lean red meat, sweets, added sugars, and sugar-containing beverages compared to the typical American diet. It is rich in potassium, magnesium and calcium, as well as protein and fiber.
The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, funded the research for the DASH Diet.
Partnering with The Harris Poll on the Best Diets methodology — and including input from a panel of leading health experts — the 2024 Best Diets rankings examine 30 diets, with six additional diets evaluated since last year’s rankings. The rankings follow a methodology devised by U.S. News in partnership with The Harris Poll, which factors in evaluations from 43 expert panelists — including medical doctors, registered dietitian nutritionists, nutritional epidemiologists and academic weight-loss researchers.