Pennington Biomedical’s DASH diet ranked No. 1 for heart health 

    As millions strive to make the new year healthier, U.S. News & World Report has released its annual assessment of the year’s best diets, again naming Pennington Biomedical’s DASH diet as a top eating plan in multiple categories for the second year in a row.  

    The DASH diet, developed by Pennington Biomedical Research Center dietitians and outside partners 10 years ago, was ranked as the No. 1 diet for U.S. News’  healthy eating and heart health categories. 

    “The threat of COVID-19 made Americans and the entire world more health-conscious and shone a light on one of the best ways to improve your health: the proper diet,” says Catherine Champagne, professor and director of Pennington Biomedical’s Dietary Assessment and Nutrition Counseling Laboratory, in a prepared statement.  

    Champagne worked as a member of the DASH Diet Collaborative Research Group that included members from Brigham and Women’s Hospital; Duke Hypertension Center and the Sarah W. Stedman Nutrition and Metabolism Center; and Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. DASH is short for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension.

    To determine the rankings, U.S. News convened an expert panel of the country’s top nutritionists, dietary consultants, and physicians specializing in diabetes, heart health, and weight loss. Through a survey, 24 panelists scored 39 diets in seven areas, including ease of compliance, likelihood of losing significant weight in both the short and long term, and effectiveness against cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

    The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, funded the research for the DASH diet.