How to pick the best diet

Finding the right diet can help you lose weight and make it easier to keep it off. But what is the best diet?

As I write in my Health & Fitness column in the Aiken Standard this week, there is no best diet. But there are some things you should look for—and avoid—if your goal is long-term weight loss.

While there is no best diet, there is one that I recommend for everyone: the DASH diet. This diet was originally developed to treat high blood pressure—DASH stands for Dietary Approaches Stop Hypertension—but research showed that it led to weight loss. The DASH diet is low in red meat, added sugar, and fat, and emphasizes whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy foods. It is widely considered to be a healthy diet and has been shown to lower blood pressure, blood cholesterol, and blood glucose in addition to promoting weight loss. Best of all, everything you need to get started on the DASH diet is available for free at http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/public/heart/hbp/dash/.

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