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By Emily Thompson U of A System Division of AgricultureJan. 19, 2018
(320 words)(Download this story in MS Word format here.)
LITTLE ROCK – As millions of Americans commit to becoming healthier versions of themselves
in the new year, U.S. News and World Report released its rankings of the best diets.
The DASH diet took the top spot as the best diet overall. The ranking is based on
nutritional value, short and long-term weight loss effects and how easy it is to follow.
The DASH, which stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, was developed
by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute to help prevent and lower high blood
In late 2017, the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology
released new guidelines (See: http://bit.ly/2BcLCv1) about what is considered high blood pressure. Under the new guidelines, about 46
percent of Americans are estimated to have high blood pressure.
“High blood pressure increases your risk for dangerous health conditions,” said Carla
Hadley, Miller County extension staff chair for the University of Arkansas System
Division of Agriculture. “These include a first heart attack, first stroke, chronic
heart failure and kidney disease.”
The DASH diet focuses on lean proteins, fruits, vegetables and whole grains while
avoiding foods that are high in saturated fats and sodium to ensure that those that
follow the diet are getting the nutrients like potassium, protein, fiber and calcium,
needed for fighting high blood pressure.
A major cornerstone of the plan is reducing sodium, which can be tricky as many processed
foods like chips, cookies, pretzels, canned soups and bottled salad dressings often
contain large amounts of sodium.
“Processed foods account for most of the salt and sodium we consume,” Hadley said.
“Reduce sodium by choosing low or reduced sodium versions of foods when available.”
Hadley recommends looking at the label and choosing foods that contain less than 140
mg of sodium per serving. Foods that contain 140 mg of sodium or less are considered
to be low sodium.
Download the DASH eating plan (http://bit.ly/2DpC9pl ), or contact Carla Hadley for a copy by phone at 870-779-3609, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Division of Agriculture
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s mission is to strengthen
agriculture, communities, and families by connecting trusted research to the adoption
of best practices. Through the Agricultural Experiment Station and the Cooperative
Extension Service, the Division of Agriculture conducts research and extension work
within the nation’s historic land grant education system.
The Division of Agriculture is one of 20 entities within the University of Arkansas
System. It has offices in all 75 counties in Arkansas and faculty on five system campuses.
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension
and Research programs to all eligible persons without regard to race, color, sex,
gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital
or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and
is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.
# # #
Media Contact: Mary HightowerDir. of Communication ServicesU of A System Division of AgricultureCooperative Extension Service(501) email@example.com