` Marla Heller, MS, RD

About Marla Heller, MS, RD

Marla HellerMarla Heller, MS, RD is the author of the brand new book, The DASH Diet Mediterranean Solution and 4 additional best-selling DASH diet books, The DASH Diet Action Plan, The DASH Diet Weight Loss Solution, The Everyday DASH Diet Cookbook, and The DASH Diet Younger You. Marla's specialty is in making complex nutrition easy to understand. Marla felt compelled to write several books about the DASH diet to move DASH from the research setting to practical advice for real meals in a healthy lifestyle. The DASH Diet has been ranked as the best American diet by US News & World Report for 8 years in a row. However, although the first DASH diet research report was published in 1998, fewer people are eating in a way that is consistent with the DASH diet. Marla is focused on spreading the word about DASH and making it understandable and easy to follow.

Marla Heller has been a registered dietitian for over 25 years, with experience that includes the US Naval Hospital at Great Lakes and the Heart-Lung transplant unit, CICU, and the Cardiac Step Down Unit at the University of Illinois Hospital. In her first career in the chemical industry, she worked in research and marketing management, and holds 3 US patents.


Marla's expertise is in making complex nutrition ideas understandable and easy to put into practice.

  • Civilian dietitian with the US Navy, at Naval Hospital Great Lakes, where she counseled active duty military, their families, and military retirees.
  • US Department of Health and Human Services, including work on the Healthy Weight Collaborative.
  • Adjunct Clinical Instructor, teaching nutrition education and counseling and food science to undergraduate and graduate nutrition students at The University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC)
  • Adjunct Instructor at Dominican University, National-Louis University, and the Cooking and Hospitality Institute of Chicago (a chef-training school).
  • She is a Past-President of the Illinois Dietetic Association and of the North Suburban Dietetic Association.
  • She was awarded the prestigious Emerging Leader Award from the Illinois Dietetic Association.
  • She has been on the advisory board for Chicago Health & Beauty magazine.
  • Wrote the 4-week menu plan for Win the Weight Game by Sarah, the Duchess of York, and Weight Watchers Publishing,
  • Wrote the healthy eating chapter in "I Always Start My Diet on Mondays!" by Janice Alpert.

Media Appearances

She is a featured nutrition expert for many national media outlets, including print, broadcast, and selective internet outlets. In September, 2013, PBS premiered her PBS special on the DASH diet. She has been a featured nutrition expert for Dr Oz's show and for the related health site, ShareCare.com. She also has been a spokesperson for the Greater Midwest Affiliate of the American Heart Association.

Educational Background

  • MS in Human Nutrition and Dietetics from the University of Illinois at Chicago
  • Completed Doctoral coursework at University of Illinois at Chicago, School of Public Health (current)
  • Dietetic Internship: Hines VA Hospital (passed the dietetic registration exam in the top 1% of all candidates)
  • Didactic Program in Dietetics: Dominican University
  • BA from Illinois Wesleyan University
  • Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist, Licensed for Practice in the State of Illinois
  • Culinary Training at Kendall College, Cooking and Hospitality Institute of Chicago, Santa Fe School of Cooking, and the Cordon Bleu.
  • Professional Food Writers' Symposium at the Greenbrier.
  • Advanced Clinical Pediatric Obesity Training.
  • Expert Partners in Practice, a pediatric nutrition educational program (Marla was one of 9 dietitians nation-wide selected by the American Dietetic Association Foundation for advanced training in childhood obesity and infant feeding, in 2002.)
  • Ellyn Satter's Treating the Dieting Casualty.