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Introducing DASH, the ‘Best Diet’ You’ve Never Heard Of

If you believe that Princeton University is the nation’s best school, you may also believe that the lesser-known DASH Diet (mercifully unaffiliated with the Kardashians) is the nation’s best diet. Usually known for its rankings of colleges, this year, U.S. News and World Report has applied the same methodology to diets. Ranking 32 of them into categories such as Easiest and Plant-Based, DASH was ranked No. 1 overall best diet. Meanwhile, the Paleo diet earned only two stars out of four.

The diet, which stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, was developed with the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), and contains 64 pages of instruction. It’s presumably so long because it’s a repeat of your fourth-grade Health textbook’s “Chapter 3: Growth and Nutrition,” with the same stock photography. It also contains the same aged guidance. Do’s and Don’ts of the diet:

Do: Eat lean poultry and fish.

Don’t: Eat too much salt.

Do: Eat whole grains and vegetables.

Don’t: Eat sugar. Satisfy your sugar craving with fruit.

Do: Eat fat-free and low-fat milk products, at least three servings a day. (This one is a puzzler.)

Great, and does it actually recommend plain, old exercise, too? It does. The instructions helpfully advise that 30 minutes of walking or swimming “will help you shed pounds and stay trim for the long term.” So a regular, healthy diet where you don’t have to Instagram your food, eat bison, honey, vegan sesame pancakes, celery loaf, raw eggs in milk, tofu cheese, or cottage cheese mixed with sour cream? But does include low-fat cheese, three times a day? Exercise that doesn’t include frenetic stationary movement, yelled yogic inspirations, or groin-displaying leggings? Revolutionary and best diet, indeed.

Meet DASH, the Best Diet You’ve Never Heard Of