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The DASH Diet: What Makes it the Best-Selling Diet Today?

Let's just say its something of a secret ingredient....

"Bestselling" Author? Um.... keep reading

As you might imagine, I have a thought or two regarding what is the best diet to lose weight fast (and it’s not really even what most people think of as a “diet” as much as it is a change in how you view food, plus some methods to make exercise somewhat enjoyable and satisfying).

Nevertheless, I wanted to see what’s being brought up in today’s best-selling weight loss books.  I wanted to see what the hottest topics in weight loss are, and whether they sounded like good ideas or like crap (before anyone dismisses me as being judgmental, please remember: I have not only my own story of weight loss success, I also have the reports of—and photos of—a host of readers who report that my methods work, and I trained less than a year ago as a professional weight loss coach—so there’s a tiny chance my opinion counts, at least marginally).

Looking through the top diet plans, according to the lists of best-selling weight loss books on Amazon, I was … what?  Disappointed?  Saddened?  Irritated?  Inspired?  Perhaps all of these (and most assuredly at least 3 out of 4).

Here’s what I found:

The DASH Diet for Beginners  Okay, this book is literally, at this very moment, the NUMBER ONE diet book on Amazon—even though there are at least seven books with the same title available, and almost 500 other books on the same diet.

Yes, you read that correctly.  Almost 500 other books on the DASH Diet.  If this doesn’t set off your BS-O-Meter, well, consider re-calibrating said meter.

How can there be so many books on a single, presumably unique, diet? 

Oh, how about—just maybe—the fact that the diet, which was released by the U.S. government and is therefore in the public domain,* has something to do with it?

* In case you didn’t know, public domain works aren’t copyrighted, and can be plagiarized all day long with impunity

“Come on, Dahl,” you’re thinking, “if the diet is this popular, it must be at least somewhat awesome.”  Fine, take a look for yourself.  Here it is in its entirety:

The "diet" that launched a thousand useless copycats.

There are no “DASH Diet for Experts” books? You don’t say.

O. M. [F.] G.  #JawOnFloor!  This is revolutionary! What a breakthrough! If only I’d found this sooner, I’d have been a size zero years ago! Can you believe that this diet’s secrets have remained a mystery for so long?  Who could have ever guessed that the best way to lose weight* is to:

  • Eat vegetables, fruits, and whole grains
  • Include fat-free or low-fat dairy products, fish, poultry, beans, nuts, and vegetable oils
  • Limit foods that are high in saturated fat, such as fatty meats, full-fat dairy products, and tropical oils such as coconut, palm kernel, and palm oils
  • Limit sugar-sweetened beverages and sweets.

This changes everything.  I’m burning my copy of my own book.  The above advice is all I need.

* By the way, “DASH” stands for “Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension“.  It’s a blood-pressure diet.  But that doesn’t stop people from praising it for helping them lose weight (which further proves my contention that EVERY diet makes you lose weight at first, because just paying attention to intake is what most people have been missing).

… but seriously: isn’t it sad that hundreds of “authors” (not including the circling venue of vulturous* website creators) have relieved reader after reader of hard-earned cash by marketing these DASH Diet “books” as something special?  What’s next? The “Food Pyramid Diet”?

* We all know that a group of larks is an “exaltation” and a group of crows a “murder”.  But did you know that vultures form a “venue”?  Now you do, and now you can really impress your date.

Take a breath, Dahl….

Sorry; I never meant to write so much about this freaking book which contains, according to many readers’ complaints, only a cursory review of general diet principles followed by a smattering of recipes.  Oh, and contradictory advice as well, we’re told, like some foods appearing in both the “eat this” and “never eat this!” lists).

But seriously, why is this book at #1, when hundreds of others on the same topic have failed to make the cut? Surely the $0.99 price* (literally the lowest Kindle will permit) can have nothing to do with it (and it’s totally not like the ‘author’ was looking for a way to put “Best-Selling Health Author” next to his name)….

* Multiple reviewers still expressed that they wanted their money book.

As for the diet itself: my rant notwithstanding, it is surely awesome and effective.  The U.S. government typically knows what advice really works when it comes to public health.

I mean, just look at how slender Americans are, compared to the rest of the world.

Parting Words

I started writing this intending to mention the Top 100 diet books, not just the “top” and most affordable one.  900 words later, I realize I may have missed my mark.

It’s probably a good time to call it a day, for now.  Check this space, soon, for the [much less snarky, probably] conclusion to this study.

Yours in health and happiness,


About Alyssa (57 Articles)
Author of The Real You Is Skinny (the cult weight-loss book) and several professional publications which have been well received but would bore you to death, Alyssa Dahl loves writing about health and weight loss. Since writing TRYIS, she certified as a Clinical Weight Loss Practitioner and decided that this website needed to happen. She also occasionally says silly things on Twitter (@AlyssaMDahl) and loves to answer questions and comments---so please leave one below!
Contact: Website

2 Comments on The DASH Diet: What Makes it the Best-Selling Diet Today?

  1. OMFG is the word. Thank you for this. Can’t wait to see what you think of the other 99 top-sellers.

  2. I can’t wait, either! I’m starting my research in 10 … 9 … you get the picture. Watch this space.

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