In a review of 32 of the most popular diets of 2013, the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet came out on top.

Is this a surprise? Not really. After all, this is the fourth year in a row that the expert panel at U.S. News and World Report has ranked the DASH diet as the best overall diet. On its heels are the Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes (TLC) diet, the Mayo Clinic Diet, the Mediterranean Diet, and Weight Watchers. The DASH diet’s focus on limiting sodium rather than cutting out a wide range of foods, along with its positive impact on health, have combined to earn it the number one spot in the rankings.

What positive impact on health?

Well, according to the National Heart Lung, and Blood Institute,”Following the DASH eating plan and eating less sodium (salt) can lower high blood pressure or your risk for the condition. Results from the DASH research showed that following a DASH plan containing 2,300 milligrams (mg) of sodium per day lowered blood pressure. Following a DASH plan containing 1,500 mg of sodium lowered blood pressure even more (systolic blood pressure was lowered by about 7 to 12 mmHg).” The U.S. News and World Report’s panel further asserts that the DASH diet has “also been shown to increase ‘good’ HDL cholesterol and decrease ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, a fatty substance that in excess has been linked to heart disease.”

In other words, the DASH diet is good for your heart, especially when it comes to your blood pressure.

So, how can you go about helping your clients adopt the DASH diet?

There are a few ways you could go. One is with DASH posters like the Make the DASH poster or an About Your Blood Pressure poster. You could also offer handouts to clarify the key points of the DASH diet — both the Make the DASH brochure and the Blood Pressure 101 handout have been both popular and effective. For more intensive work, there are presentations like 4 Lessons to Lower Blood Pressure and DASH Diet Basics. Of course there are always resource bundles that combine everything you need in a single package. Top-selling DASH bundles include the Blood Pressure 101 Educational Materials Bundle and the 6 Lessons of Heart Health.

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Paleo Versus DASH Diet