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Tuesday, January 3, 2023
NIH-supported DASH and TLC diets earn top spots in “Best Diets” report
Two National Institute of Health-supported diets, Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) and Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes (TLC), together earned five No. 1 spots in U.S. News & World Report’s 2023 “Best Diets” rankings. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part of NIH, researched, developed and tested both diets. Of 24 diets evaluated, DASH, which supports overall heart health and helps lowers blood pressure and cholesterol, ranked first in the “Best Heart-Healthy Diets,” “Best Diets for Diabetes,” and “Best Diets for Bone & Joint Health” categories. TLC, which focuses on lowering cholesterol, ranked first in the “Easiest Diets to Follow” and “Best Family-Friendly Diets” categories. To receive top rankings, a diet must be nutritious, safe, easy to follow, effective for weight loss, and protective against diabetes and heart disease.
How they Work
DASH, a long-term healthy eating plan, emphasizes vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, and includes fat-free or low-fat dairy products, fish, lean meats and poultry, beans, nuts, and vegetable oils. It limits foods high in saturated fat, tropical oils, sodium, and those with added sugar. Studies show that by increasing fiber, protein, and minerals, such as potassium, calcium, and magnesium, people following DASH can naturally lower their blood pressure by 3-20 points within weeks or months – the greatest benefit coming when they also limit salt intake to about 1,150 mg each day.
TLC expands on DASH by helping people eat more plant sterols and fiber, such as whole grains, vegetables, and fruits; limit saturated fats, trans fats, and dietary cholesterol; reach and maintain a healthy weight; and get regular exercise, such as 30 minutes most days. Studies show TLC could lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels by 20-30% among people with borderline high or high LDL levels.
Where to Learn More
Get more information about each diet and access free recipes and meal plans: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/education/dash-eating-plan and https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/resources/your-guide-lowering-cholesterol-therapeutic-lifestyle.
Nutrition researchers from NHLBI are available to discuss DASH, TLC, and other ways to support heart-healthy living.
About the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI): NHLBI is the global leader in conducting and supporting research in heart, lung, and blood diseases and sleep disorders that advances scientific knowledge, improves public health, and saves lives. For more information, visit www.nhlbi.nih.gov.
About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov.
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