The best hospitals in America are ranked by U.S. News & World Report each year, but did you know the same is true of nutrition plans? A panel of health experts studied hundreds of diets and chose 29 that stood apart as easy to follow, nutritious, safe and effective for weight loss—as well as heart healthy and proven to control or prevent diabetes.
These healthiest picks are not so much about dieting as they are about changing and adapting eating habits for the sake of having more energy and consuming less harmful fat, sugar, salt and calories. Here are the Top 5 suggestions for optimizing your health and wellness!
- Dash Plan: Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (or DASH) theorizes that these nutrients: potassium, calcium, protein and fiber are crucial to fending off or fighting high blood pressure; to track your intake of these in each healthy recipe that you prepare, print off the PDF of guidelines by The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), which helped develop DASH.
- The TLC Plan: Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes or TLC was created by the National Institutes of Health and is known, particularly, for its cardiovascular benefits. The diet ensures that bad cholesterol is lowered by about 10% in 6 weeks—but one must be willing to set calorie targets, cut daily intake of saturated fat to no more than 7% of daily calories, and minimize dietary cholesterol to a bare minimum. For registered nurses working in CVICU jobs, the TLC eating plan is a smart nutritional guide for your patients.
- The Mayo Clinic Plan: It asserts that if you replace your bad eating habits with good ones, you are bound to lose weight. The diet is presented in two parts. Part 1 takes focuses on 15 key habits—ones to add and ones to ditch. Healthy snacks are encouraged! Part 2 teaches how many calories you should eat to either lose or maintain weight, and where those calories ought to come from; to see an example of a high-calorie dish transformed by healthy ingredient swaps, click on Diet-Friendly Spaghetti Squash Carbonara.
- The Mediterranean Plan is touted for being low in red meat, sugar and saturated fat, but high on flavor. It lets dieters discover the health benefits of olive oil, healthy fats, seafood, and high-protein dairy products using the healthy recipes inspired by the countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea. This diet aims not just to help you lose weight, but keep it off and avoid a host of chronic diseases, like cancer and diabetes.
- Weight Watchers maintains its ranks among the Top 5 healthy diets because it’s both smart and effective. Its premise is simple: losing and maintaining a healthy weight isn’t about counting calories, it’s about making healthier choices that fill you up longer, and result in eating less. Weight Watchers assigns every food a “points value”, based on its protein, carbohydrate, fat, fiber, calories, and how hard your body has to work to burn it off.
Healthy Careers Lead to Making Better Choices
Health professionals are known for having an arsenal of tools that help them make better choices each and every temptation-filled day. ChoosemyPlate.gov is one of those tools, and a great place to begin your journey to health and wellness if you aren’t already on your way. If you are interested in learning about all 29 healthy lifestyles, go to U.S. News Best Diets and start improving your lifestyle today!