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Locally Connected ‘DASH Diet’ Named Top Eating Plan Second Year In A Row

Different kinds of vegetables, including paprikas, zucchini, onions and tomatoes, lie on display at a government stand that offers information on nutrition at the Gruene Woche agricultural trade fair January 18, 2008 in Berlin, Germany. The Gruene Woche runs from January 18 through 27. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Different kinds of vegetables, including paprikas, zucchini, onions and tomatoes, lie on display at a government stand that offers information on nutrition at the Gruene Woche agricultural trade fair January 18, 2008 in Berlin, Germany. The Gruene Woche runs from January 18 through 27. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Vince Gerasole Vince Gerasole
Vince Gerasole serves as a general assignment reporter for CBS 2...
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CHICAGO (CBS) — How’d you like to lose 10 pounds or more in a month and still stay healthy?  Medical professionals from U.S. News & World Report say a registered dietician from Northbrook has the answer.

As CBS 2′s Vince Gerasole reports, they’ve ranked her diet plan the healthiest in the nation.

You’ll eat, for example, cashews and salmon and lots of fruits and vegetables — five servings each day, all on the DASH Diet Action Plan.

“It’s an eating pattern — you are developing a new plan on how you would eat,” Marla Heller says.

“It tends to emphasize a lot of plant-based fruits, fruits, vegetables, whole grains,” she adds.

The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, or DASH, diet was selected by U.S. News’ panel of medical professionals as the nation’s best overall diet for two years now.

The registered dietician’s book sales are now booming. On Thursday, her book was ranked number five by Barnes & Nobel.

“The DASH Diet was developed by a team sponsored by the National Institutes of Health,” Heller says. “It was always considered kind of ‘researchy,’ so I wanted to make it practical, understandable for regular people who have busy lives.”

So what do you eat under the plan? For breakfast, try sensible amounts of cereal, low fat milk, strawberries and even a 4-ounce glass of orange juice.

“We’ve got a portion control here,” Heller says. “A lot of people are doing really large servings and then they get a lot of extra calories.”

For dinner, with your fish, you can also enjoy mashed potatoes, as long as you are bulking up on things like peppers and green beans.

Followers like Christine Ambrose have posted their success stories online. She shed 90 pounds in a little over a year, and that’s what Heller finds most gratifying about her success.

“The important thing is I am influencing a lot of people around the country to eat more healthfully, and that’s really the payoff,” Heller says.

The diet isn’t about only losing weight but also getting healthy, which is why it was singled out. It’s been medically proven to lower blood pressure in just 14 days. It can also lower bad cholesterol, increase good cholesterol and decrease risk of heart attacks.