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The Best Diet of 2015 is one you've probably never heard of.

Image: iStock

This just in.

The US News and World Report just released its fifth annual Best Diet guide… and guess what didn’t win?

PALEO!

Guess what also didn’t win?

ATKINS!

The top pick was something called… The DASH Diet.

Never heard of it? Yeah, don’t worry – neither had we (even though it’s topped the News and World list for four years running).

Despite what its name suggests, this is not a diet consisting of only food consumed by the Kar-dash-ians (sorry, that was a dad joke) nor are you required to eat only when you’re on the run (and that was another!)

In fact, it’s not even focused on weight loss.

5 lies the diet industry wants you to believe.

DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, and it’s a long-term approach to eating that’s designed to help prevent or treat high blood pressure. The regimen encourages followers to reduce their sodium intake, and fill their diets with wholegrains, vegetables and fruits (4-5 serves per day), nuts and low-fat dairy foods, along with a small amount of fish, poultry and legumes.

Unsurprisingly, red meat, saturated fat and sugary treats all fall in the DASH diet’s “sometimes foods” zone.

Though the diet's priority is to lower blood pressure, it can also yield benefits for people suffering osteoporosis, heart disease, high cholesterol and diabetes, as well as resulting in weight loss if it's maintained long-term and combined with exercise and portion control.

DASH beat a numbers of better-known diets to top the News and World Report, with higher ranks in nutritional completeness, safety, control/prevention of diabetes, and overall health support. Sitting in second place was the TLC - or Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes - Diet, which helps you change your calorie intake based on how your specific weight loss goals.

Paleo shmaleo: why the diet wars are doing more harm than good.

Interestingly, the paleo lifestyle - which was such a phenomenon last year - didn't fare so well.

"Experts took issue with the diet on every measure. Regardless of the goal – weight loss, heart health or finding a diet that's easy to follow – most experts concluded that it would be better for dieters to look elsewhere," the report reads.

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Roger that.

Part of the reason DASH topped the list is that it's easy to follow and easy to maintain. Fresh food based diets, like DASH, work the best for long-term weight loss and healthy living alike, while diets with less flexible rules - for instance, those that involve meal replacements - are much harder to follow.

As dietician Susie Burrell told Fairfax Media recently, "Any diet will work if people follow them, but the main issue is sustainability and often extreme strict regimes are difficult to follow long term."

8 foods that nutrition experts refuse to eat

If the DASH approach sounds like the one for you, this Eating Plan will help you plan your menus based on how many calories you want to consume.

Have you ever tried the DASH diet? How did you find it?

These are the 10 foods Susie Burrell recommends throwing into your grocery trolley:

 - With Molly Russell

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