Eating healthy can be confusing with so many diets flooding the internet and social media.
The American Heart Association (AHA) has simplified the choice by giving the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet a perfect score for heart health.
Developed with help from researchers at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center, the DASH diet proves to be not just effective but also flexible for individual needs.
What Makes a Diet Heart-Healthy?
In a study published in the AHA’s journal, Circulation, the organization evaluated popular diets to see how well they match with guidelines for a heart-healthy lifestyle.
The criteria focus on reducing unhealthy fats and cutting down on too many carbs, like processed foods and sugary drinks.
By doing so, not only do you protect your heart, but you also lower the risks of other issues like obesity and Type 2 diabetes. The AHA designed this guidance to be budget-friendly and adaptable to personal and cultural food choices.
Why DASH Gets a Perfect Score
So, what’s so special about the DASH diet? It aims to be low in salt, added sugar, alcohol, and processed foods. Instead, it encourages eating more fruits, non-starchy veggies, whole grains, and legumes like beans and lentils.
Most of the protein in the DASH diet comes from plant-based foods, but it also includes fish, lean meats, and low-fat dairy.
First made public in 1997 in the New England Journal of Medicine, the DASH diet has been cited in research about 6,000 times since.
Leading developers include Dr. George Bray, Dr. Donna Ryan, and Dr. Catherine Champagne from Pennington Biomedical Research Center, along with other prestigious institutions.
Dr. Catherine Champagne, a professor and nutritionist at Pennington, emphasizes that the DASH diet isn’t just for those with heart disease or diabetes. Anyone can follow it easily, making it family-friendly.
Clearing the Confusion on Heart-Healthy Eating
With so many diets popping up and lots of confusing information on social media, it’s hard to know what’s genuinely good for your heart.
The AHA hopes this recent statement will help both doctors and the public make sense of which diets are truly healthy for the heart.
In summary, if you’re looking for a tried-and-true, heart-healthy eating plan, the DASH diet might be the way to go. It’s not only backed by science but also practical for everyday living and adaptable for the whole family.
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