Keep the rice brown and the skin off the chicken for a Spanish rice dinner that could qualify for the winning diet.
Keep the rice brown and the skin off the chicken for a Spanish rice dinner that could qualify for the winning diet. iStockphoto.com
The ratings gurus at U.S.News and World Report have put some of the nation's most popular diets through the wringer and crowned as champion a diet originally developed to help people lower their blood pressure.
Called DASH — for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension — the diet is UN&WR's top all-around pick. The diet keeps a tight lid on saturated fat and cholesterol. And it emphasizes food rich in protein, fiber and nutrients, such as potassium and calcium, that may lower blood pressure.
A team at the magazine combed the scientific literature and boiled down the pros and cons of 20 diets in standardized profiles. Then a group of 22 experts enlisted by the magazine rated the diets on a scale of 1 to 5 for such things as safety, long-term weight loss and ability to prevent or control diabetes.
The DASH diet earned 3.9 stars out of 5. There was a three-way tie for second place: the Mediterranean diet; the Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes, or TLC, diet; and Weight Watchers all got 3.8 stars.
When Consumer Reports did its own deep dive on diets last month, Jenny Craig came out No. 1. Slim-Fast and Weight Watchers came in second and third, respectively. The low-carb Atkins diet came in last.
And, it should be noted, the Atkins diet came in 19th on USN&WR's overall ratings — second-to-last place.
The folks at Atkins disputed their USN&WR ranking, saying in a statement that contrary to the magazine's findings the Atkins diet "has repeatedly demonstrated its effectiveness not only for weight-loss but for diabetes and heart health management" in peer-reviewed studies.
You can get a workout sifting through the diet-rating extravaganza for diets that are best for diabetes, weight-loss and your heart.
I think I've already burned off enough calories clicking through them to cover dessert after dinner tonight. But first, just to be on the safe side, maybe I'll try a little chicken and Spanish rice a la DASH.