The U.S. News and World Report released its first-ever rankings of popular diet plans earlier today and the DASH Diet came out on top. Here's how to get started on it

By Alanna Nuñez
Updated: September 30, 2013

The U.S. News and World Report released its first-ever rankings of popular diet plans earlier today and the DASH Diet came out on top, winning both Best Diet Overall and Best Diabetes Diet.

The DASH Diet is an easy way to help maintain a healthy lifestyle. If you're not familiar with the DASH Diet, don't worry! Here are some tips to get you started, information courtesy of The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute:

1. Gradually begin making changes to your diet. For example, try adding one serving of vegetables to each meal, or substitute fat-free dressings and condiments for full-fat ones.

2. Limit the amount of meat you eat. If you currently eat a large amount of meat, try cutting back to two servings per day.

3. Substitute low-fat options for dessert. Fresh fruit, dried fruit and canned fruits are all tasty options that are easy to prepare and carry with you.

4. When baking, use half the amount of butter or margarine that you would usually use.

5. Increase your dairy intake to three servings per day. For example, instead of drinking soda, alcohol or sugary drinks, try low-fat one percent or fat-free milk.

For more information about the DASH Diet, click here.

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