Heart-healthy DASH diet tops overall rankings for 4th straight year

Days before American Heart Month begins Feb. 1, one heart-healthy diet plan has again drawn praise from medical experts for its ability to help prevent diseases such as diabetes and heart disease — the leading cause of death for both men and women, according the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

For the fourth consecutive year, the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) finished atop the “Best Overall Diet” rankings released earlier this month by U.S. News & World Report. This is the fourth year its panel of nutrition and health experts has released its annual diet analyses.

DASH diet guidelines include:
– Eating plenty of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean meats and low-fat dairy;
– Avoiding red meat, high-fat sweets and snacks;
– Limiting salt and sodium intake.

“The DASH diet works by cutting down the sodium, saturated and trans fats, added sugars and cholesterol,” said family physician Dhara Patel, D.O., of Family Healthcare of Rockwall, a Texas Health Physicians Group practice. “It still allows for a well-balanced diet and includes all major food groups. By cutting down on these items, it decreases a person’s risk of developing high blood pressure and heart disease.”

Dr Patel Rockwall

Patel said that by following the recommended caloric intake, a person can increase the chances of maintaining or losing weight because the diet is broken down by a person’s activity level.

“It’s heart healthy because it decreases the sodium and cholesterol intake,” she said. “But for optimum cardiovascular benefits, include 30 minutes of exercise. While the diet itself may not prevent type 2 diabetes, maintaining a healthy weight can certainly help prevent and control diabetes.”

Texas Health Physicians Group, is Texas Health Resources’ 501(a) not-for-profit physician. The group includes more than 800 physicians (PCPs and specialists), PAs and NPs in more than 230 locations in Collin, Dallas, Denton, Johnson, Parker, Rockwall and Tarrant counties.

Submitted by Donnie Wyar | Senior Specialist – Communications & PR
Texas Health Physicians Group | 9229 LBJ Freeway | Dallas, TX 75243

Related Event: RSVP for the Healthy Hearts Rock luncheon to be held on January 31, 2014!
Hosted by Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital of Rockwall

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