The Dash Diet stands for “Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension.” It was originally given to patients to decrease the risk of developing hypertension or to lower existing high blood pressure. This approach began in the 1970’s after significant research.
In 2010 a study was done to compare the Mediterranean and Dash diets in reducing the risk of colorectal cancer (Pub Med Study). The conclusion was: “Adherence to the DASH diet (which involves higher intakes of whole grains, fruit, and vegetables; moderate amounts of low-fat dairy; and lower amounts of red or processed meats, desserts, and sweetened beverages) was associated with a lower risk of colorectal cancer.”
The Mediterranean diet is a lifestyle, a way of eating. The Dash diet is a dietary plan. If you prefer a general outline of healthy eating then the Mediterranean is for you. If you prefer a plan that you can look at and stay within it’s guidelines then try the Dash plan.
Dash won the coveted “Best Overall Diet” for the 5th year in a row in 2015. The Mediterranean Diet came in 3rd. Here is a ink to how the “41 different diets” were ranked within specific groups. Very interesting: Best Diets 2015 US News. Since this ranking was published in January, I have noticed the publics renewed interest in the Dash diet for weight loss and reducing the risk of chronic diseases including cancer. I am happy to see the focus going to a diet plan that can be sustained over a lifetime and one that includes all vitamins and minerals.
I am not going to write the entire plan on this page. You can google Dash and get a complete guide, plan for meals and recipes. I will, however give you a quick look at it. When you see ** before a note then it is my opinion.
The main goal of this plan is to limit Sodium intake, **which by the way is in most everyones best interest. The standard Dash allows up to 2,300 mg of sodium per day. The lower sodium Dash diet allows up to 1,500 mg of sodium per day. The SAD diet (Standard American Diet) has typically more than 3,500 of sodium per day. **I am willing to bet it is way higher than that.
Grains: 6-8 servings per day. **Focus on whole grains as they are high in fiber & low in fat.
Vegetables: 4-5 servings per day. Fresh and a variety are recommended.
Fruits: 4-5 servings per day. Whole, fresh fruits. It does allow juices. **Just remember that fruit juices are very high in concentrated sugars.
Dairy: 2-3 servings a day. **Note that dairy is inflammatory & unless it is certified organic it may contain hormones and antibiotics.
Lean Meat, Poultry & Fish: 6 or less servings per day. **Certified organic or grass fed meat are best choices. Healthy fish should be your first choice; look at my resources page.
Nuts, Seeds & Legumes: 4-5 servings a week. **If you are plant based or vegetarian you want to have these daily.
Fats & Oils: 2-3 servings a day. ** I hope we are all over with the big non-fat craze that brought us obesity and health problems 🙂
Sweets: 5 or fewer servings per week. **They do allow artificial sweeteners. Oh my, don’t get me started!!!!
Alcohol: Drinking too much alcohol can increase blood pressure. The DASH diet recommends that men limit alcohol to two or fewer drinks a day and women one or less. ** As we now know there is a definite link between alcohol and some cancers. We also know that this is a very personal decision.
I hope this topic is helpful. There are so many bad diet plans out there which limit your food choices which in turn limits your intake of vitamins and minerals. This is not one of themLet me know if you are using this plan and how you are doing on it.