U.S. News & World Report ranks colleges, medical schools, hospitals and more, so no surprise that the magazine recently crunched through some of the nation’s most popular diets to find the best one. The winner is DASH, the government-endorsed Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension.
According to the U.S. N&WR website, the diet – which was developed to fight high blood pressure – earned 3.9 stars on a five-star scale for its “nutritional completeness, safety, ability to prevent or control diabetes, and role in supporting heart health.” Runners-up in the ranking included the Mediterranean diet, the National Institutes of Health Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes (TLC) diet and the Weight Watchers diet.
While the National Public Radio health blog, “Shots,” humorously points out that “you can get a workout sifting through the diet-rating extravaganza,” the analysis is a boon for foodies like me who demand a diet that’s both healthy and delicious. DASH recipes include several picks perfect for summer, like new potato salad and chicken salad, as well as a tasty version of chicken and Spanish rice.
Chicken and Spanish Rice
- 1 cup onions, chopped
- 3/4 cup green peppers
- 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
- 1 8-ounce can tomato sauce*
- 1 teaspoon parsley, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1-1/4 teaspoon garlic, minced
- 5 cups cooked brown rice (cooked in unsalted water)
- 3-1/2 cups chicken breasts, cooked, skin and bone removed, and diced
In a large skillet, sauté onions and green peppers in oil for 5 minutes on medium heat. Add tomato sauce and spices. Heat through. Add cooked rice and chicken. Heat through. Makes five 1-1/2-cup servings.
* To reduce sodium, use one 4-oz can of low-sodium tomato sauce and one 4-oz can of regular tomato sauce. That reduces the sodium content for each serving to 215 mg.
Per serving: calories, 428; total fat, 8 g; saturated fat, 2 g; cholesterol, 80 mg; sodium, 341 mg; protein, 35 g; carbohydrate, 52 g; calcium, 50 mg; magnesium, 122 mg; potassium, 545 mg; fiber, 8 g