Staying fit and healthy is by far the most popular New Year’s resolution every year. And, that’s no surprise when you think about the fact that over one-third of Americans are obese (not just overweight). But, the sad statistic is that just about 8 percent of Americans actually achieve their New Year’s resolutions. Sometimes, it’s because the diet that people choose is just way too hard to follow consistently. But, that’s not the problem with the diet we’re going to be talking about today. With its easy-to-follow plan and flexibility, it’s no wonder that the DASH diet won best diet of 2018 on the U.S. News & World Report website.
Best Diet of 2018: What Is It?
Although the Mediterranean Diet and the DASH Diet actually tied for first place this year, we’re going to be talking about the DASH Diet today, for two reasons: 1) we think fewer people probably know about the DASH Diet, and 2) it’s actually won the top diet slot for 8 years in a row. So, what is the official best diet of 2018, exactly? Well, the DASH Diet actually stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. And, the diet plan laid out by Marla Heller in her book has once again snagged Best Diet Overall out of 38 contending diets. At first glance, it doesn’t seem like it’s that different from other diets. Basically, it aims to help you slim down, lower your cholesterol, get a healthy heart, and live better. And, unlike going vegan, Paleo, or gluten free (without necessity, we mean), it is relatively nonrestrictive.
Best Diet of 2018: What Do You Eat?
As it turns out, the best diet of 2018 focuses on basically just eating well. Fresh produce, whole grains, and lean protein take priority. And, it minimizes sugar and salt in general. Instead, the DASH Diet emphasizes cooking with herbs and spices. That’s especially important since salt can be a major aggravator of hypertension. Additionally, unlike with some diets out there, you can actually drink alcohol. But, it’s all in moderation. This diet plan recommends no more than one drink a day for women, and two for men.
Best Diet of 2018: Why Does It Work?
Hypertension (high blood pressure) is a major problem in developed countries right now. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 32 percent of American adults have high blood pressure. A further 1 in 3 American adults has prehypertension. And, more than a thousand deaths each day in the United States are attributed to high blood pressure. The problem is especially prevalent in the southeast, including Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, South Carolina, Louisiana, Arkansas, West Virginia, and Oklahoma.
The DASH Diet relies on important aspects of your daily diet to keep your body as fit and healthy as possible. So, potassium, calcium, protein, and fiber become critical in keeping blood pressure in range. Basically, by eating the foods you already know you should be eating, you’re doing your body a world of good. As long as you keep out foods that have a lot of saturated fat and sugar (fatty meat, dairy, oils, soda, and sweets), you’re golden. Oh, and don’t forget to scrap the salt as much as possible.
Best Diet of 2018: Why It Won
We could go through the whole list of 38 contenders for the Best Diet of 2018. But, instead of doing that, let’s just compare the highest-ranked diet (DASH) and the lowest-ranked diet, the Keto Diet. We know that with the DASH Diet, you can eat from just about any food group, as long as you keep the fats and sweets to a minimum. But, what about the Keto Diet? Well, Keto is short for Ketogenic, the idea that you can encourage ketosis (burning fat for energy) by severely limiting carbs and eating a high-fat diet instead.
The Keto Diet has some good ideas. For example, focusing on lower-carb produce like spinach, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, and cucumbers is awesome. But, you have to avoid starchy vegetables and basically all sugary fruits. And, the percentage of calories from fat in this diet is astronomical – about 70 percent. That includes high-fat meats, poultry with the skin, fatty fish, and even adding additional fat like whole-fat dairy, and putting mayonnaise and oils on your salads. If that’s not enough to turn you off this diet, then consider that Keto experts suggest dieters, especially women, cycle the diet to go in and out of ketosis periodically. In comparison to the relative simplicity of the DASH Diet, Keto seems way more complex and hard to follow, which earned it its low ranking.
Best Diet of 2018: The Conclusion
Basically, if you’re looking to lose weight this new year, take it slow and simple. Keeping yourself sane is just as important as slimming down. So, keep in mind the best diet of 2018 and consider implementing aspects of the DASH Diet into your life. You may even surprise yourself, and tick “weight loss” off your list of resolutions for 2019!