If it’s January, it must be diet season, the time when seemingly
everyone you know puts themselves on a path to healthier, more
balanced eating and seemingly every media outlet is offering its
“New Year, New You” advice. It’s also a great time for nutrition
experts to evaluate the diets and eating patterns that best help
people achieve their personal goals – whether that goal is to lose
weight, address a specific health issue or generally improve wellbeing.
Several nutrition experts have been tapped to rank leading
diet plans for US News & World Report’s annual Best Diets issue.
Topping their list of best overall diets for the seventh year in a row
was the DASH diet, which was created by the National Heart, Lung
and Blood Institute as a diet to lower blood pressure. For US News,
the experts rated the DASH diet not only best overall but also placed
it at the top of their lists for diabetes, healthy eating and heart health.
The DASH eating plan hews closely to the Dietary Guidelines for
Americans with a recommended dietary pattern of fruits, vegetables,
fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products, whole grains, fish, poultry,
beans, seeds, and nuts. It also recommends reducing sodium,
added sugars, red meats, saturated fat, trans fat, and dietary
cholesterol while consuming foods containing nutrients that are
linked to lower blood pressure, such as potassium, magnesium,
calcium, protein, and fiber.
Among the dairy products the DASH diet recommends is fat-free or
low-fat yogurt. In a large prospective study, consumption of yogurt
was associated with a more balanced diet. According to this study,
yogurt consumers are not only likely to have higher potassium
intakes, but are less likely to have inadequate intakes of vitamins B2
and B12, calcium, magnesium, and zinc.1
Overall, US News concludes that the best diets are safe, nutritious,
easy to follow, effective and sustainable for a long period of time.
That last criterion is particularly important since, as the report
acknowledges, is the best diet is truly the one that works best for
Happy New Year!
Miguel Freitas, PhD
Vice President of Scientific Affairs, The Dannon Company
1. Wang H, Livingston K, Fox CS, Meigs JB, Jacques PF. Yogurt consumption is
associated with better diet quality and metabolic profile in American men and
women. Nutr Res. 2013;33:18–26.
Fermented Foods among Top 2017 Trends
If there’s anything that’s as
sure a thing as the Times
Square ball drop, it’s the 2017
trend predictions that
proliferate in the news in late
December and early January.
Global Food Forums compiled
trends lists from the leading
market research companies in
the food industry and some
common themes emerged.
These include personalized
nutrition, clean labels, efforts
to reduce food waste, more
ways to offer convenience,
and the replacement of sweet
flavors for savory flavors in
various dayparts. A survey of
1,700 registered dietitians,
meanwhile, named fermented
foods like yogurt to the list of
the top 10 superfoods for
Pump Up American Heart Month Activities
February is American Heart
Month and health-related
organizations are putting their
plans in place. The Office of
Disease Prevention and
Promotion has posted a toolkit
with information about heart
disease, recommendations for
events and activities, sample
tweets, newsletter content,
and resources for learning
more about heart disease.
OYED has some terrific
resources that can help those
who have put following a
healthy eating pattern on their
2017 resolution list. Check out
our fact sheet on the
components of a healthy
eating pattern. Another
excellent resource is the
MyPlate Daily Checklist, which
shows people their daily
targets for each food group
Learn more about the health benefits of yogurt by following One Yogurt Every Day on Twitter. Stay
connected for access to news, resources and announcements, and tweet at us to let us know what you
want to hear more about.