The DASH Diet
The DASH Diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) has been proven to lower blood pressure and cholesterol, reduce the risk of developing heart disease, prevent strokes, help people lose weight and prevent metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. Based on many, many studies, the DASH diet is probably the best place to start. The DASH Diet emphasizes produce (plants) as the bulk of the food.
Learn about the DASH Diet here:
The Mediterranean Diet
The Mediterranean Diet is another diet that has been proven to reduce the risk of developing heart disease and to increase longevity. The Mediterranean diet is less a specific diet than it is a pattern of cuisine, so named for the foods consumed by Cypriots during the Seven Country Study over 50 years ago. Like the DASH Diet, the Mediterranean Diet emphasizes produce as the basic pattern of foods in the cuisine. Where the Mediterranean Diet differs is an emphasis on olive oil, nuts and seafood (which is logical since these are readily available on the island of Cyprus), and the relative absence of red meat, eggs and dairy products. Also, the amount of animal proteins, either seafood or poultry, is a relatively small part of the Mediterranean diet.
Many have questionned the merits of the Mediterranean diet, since the evidence for it was largely based on epidemiological studies. But the Mediterranean Diet was recently validated in a randomized controlled trial, published in the New England Journal of Medicine: