How can I make my diet healthier?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Recently, the rankings for America’s top diets were released. The medical team from "The Dr. Oz Show" analyzed the best tips from the most successful plans and selected their top three. Combine them to get the greatest results.
  • The DASH Diet. DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. This eating plan combines fruits and vegetables, low-fat or nonfat dairy and whole grains to provide people with a high-fiber, low-fat diet that has been proven to lower blood pressure in just 14 days. One key to lowering blood pressure is to reduce sodium intake. The DASH Diet recommends that instead of salt, use flavor mixes like Italian seasoning, lemon-pepper mix or Chinese five spice, which comes in an array of mixtures, like ginger, coriander, cinnamon, cumin and orange peel. It works great on stir-fried meat or vegetables.
  • National Institute of Health’s TLC Diet to Lower Cholesterol. This diet recommends adding plant sterols to your diet. These plant compounds help block the absorption of cholesterol into your system. Plant sterols are found in a variety of foods, like tubs -- not sticks -- of margarine, wheat germ, sesame seeds and pistachio nuts. Some studies show that adding 2 to 3 grams of plant sterols to your daily diet can reduce your cholesterol by up to 15%. Try incorporating these foods into your life. It can be as simple as sprinkling sesame seeds on salads or soups or having a handful of pistachios a few times a week.
  • The Mediterranean Diet. One staple of the Mediterranean diet is the high healthy fat content, found in foods like olive oil, nuts and oily fish -- salmon, sardines and mackerel. These fats not only give you more energy, but also satiate you so you’ll feel fuller for longer. To incorporate more good fat into your diet, try to eat three types of healthy fats three times per week.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.