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What Is the Best Diet for Overall Health and Well-Being?

7210-eat7In his new book, Take Charge, Clarence Bass includes a section on eating plans and how 25 of the most popular plans ranked in an article in an issue of U.S. News & World Report. The rankings were based on nutrition and safety, short- and long-term weight loss, heart health, diabetes and ease of compliance.

The DASH Diet ranked number 1. DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, so it’s basically “a balanced diet aimed at preventing and lowering high blood pressure.” As mentioned, however, to achieve the top spot, it also had to perform well in other categories, like short- and long-term weight loss, and be relatively easy to follow.

The diet emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and lowfat dairy. You get plenty of potassium, calcium, protein and fiber. It also stresses cutting back on salt. With all with all of the bad press on gluten these days, de-emphasizing whole wheat may be a good idea as well.

What about the Mediterranean Diet? It’s similar to DASH but with less emphasis on dairy and more on nuts, legumes and olive oil. The Med Diet ranked third.

Interesting that the Paleo Diet ranked at the bottom in almost every category. Why? No dairy or grains means dieters are at risk of missing out on important nutrients. “It’s one of the few diets that experts actually considered somewhat unsafe and only somewhat complete nutritionally.”

Bass comments on all of the rankings in Take Charge and describes his eating plan, the one that has him maintaining an amazing physique at age 75—with abs!

—Steve Holman


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