DASH Diet Review

The Dash Diet is a heart healthy diet that is nutritionally sound Many dieters and professionals state that the Dash Diet takes a lot of grunt work and is somewhat pricey.  The Dash Diet is similar to the TLC Diet, Mediterranean Diet Mayo Clinic Diet, and the Vegetarian Diet.

DASH Diet

DASH Diet

The Dash Diet was originally designed for high blood pressure patients, with the goal of lowering hypertension.  The Dash Diet encourages a healthy eating pattern aimed at lowering blood pressure. While the Dash Diet was not designed for weight loss, ultimately, weight loss will occur from following the diet.

It is well documented that high blood pressure can be lowered by consuming the right nutrients.  Nutrients such as potassium, calcium, protein, and fiber are crucial to fend off or fight high blood pressure. You do not have to track each one, on the Dash Diet, but by eating the recommended food choices,  you will get enough of these nutrients.

Oh, yes, cut back on the salt! That is one of the keys to lowering blood pressure.

Eat fruits, veggies, whole grains, lean protein, and low fat dairy. Doesn’t that sound like almost every other diet out there?

It is amazing how many calories the average person can cut out by avoiding red meat and by avoiding fried foods and sweets.

The Dash Diet is Recommended by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute

The DASH Diet which covers the guidelines in a downloadable PDF, the Dash Diet, varies depending on your activity level, where your calories come from and depending on how much salt you consume.
The Dash Diet works on Calorie Deficit

Essentially any diet has to translate into a calorie deficit , if it is going to work. Much as we don’t want to count calories, calories count. Does that mean I am ready to count calories. NO! I believe counting calories adds to a sense of deprivation and I find that thinking about calorie density and avoiding eating a meal that from the start to the finish is all high calorie density, works for me.  Starting with a clear soup, or a salad which is not laden with high fat, high sugar, dressing is the key.

Will you lose weight?

Of course, the Dash Diet will result in weight loss if you follow it. The key to success is commitment. Whether it takes a diet, or just learning to be more educated about how you feed your body, losing weight is a matter of dedication and commitment. The Dash Diet is no exception.

Does the Dash Diet have cardiovascular benefits?

Yes. High Blood Pressure, triggers heart disease, heart failure, and stroke.  In fact, the Dash Diet has been scientifically proven to reduce blood pressure, so it will also prevent the diseases that follow high blood pressure.  DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension.  Hypertension is the medical term for high blood pressure.

The Dash Diet increases HDL (Good)  cholesterol and decreases (bad) LDL cholesterol and triglycerides.  Triglycerides are a fatty substance that in excess in the body have been linked to heart disease.  Overall, DASH reflects the medical community’s widely accepted definition of heart-healthy.

A diet that is heavy on veggies and fruits and low on saturated fat, sugar and salt, is heart healthy.

Can the DASH Diet prevent or control diabetes?

Essentially the same factors that influence high blood pressure, are similar to the goals of the American Diabetes Association.

Key Guidelines  DASH Diet conform to accepted dietary guidelines?

Unsaturated Fat:  20 to 35 percent of daily calories come from total fat.

Saturated Fat:  10 percent max.

Protein:  DASH Diet protein consumption varies according to activity level – generally within acceptable standards by most diet plans.

Carbohydrates. DASH provides the recommended amount of carbohydrates.

Salt.  The recommended daily maximum is 2,300 mg., but if you’re 51 or older, African-American, or have hypertension, diabetes, or chronic kidney disease, that limit is 1,500 mg. DASH has specific meal plans for both sodium caps.

Other key nutrients. The 2010 Dietary Guidelines call these “nutrients of concern” because many Americans get too little of one or more of them:

  • Fiber: 22 to 34 grams for adults  Fiber helps you feel full and promotes good digestion.
  • Potassium. Potassium helps lower blood pressure, decreases bone loss, and reduces the risk of developing kidney stones.  Most Americans take in far too little. Bananas are high potassium but it would take 11 bananas to supply your body with enough bananas. Government recommendations are 4,900 mg. The DASH Diet  is one of few diets that manages to do so.
  • Calcium. The government’s recommendation of 1,000 mg. to 1,300 mg. The DASH Diet meets this criteria.
  • Vitamin B-12. The DASH Diet provides  2.4 micrograms of Vitamin B 12. DASH provides more than enough.
  • Vitamin D. The government’s 15 microgram recommendation for Vitamin D  is a little higher than is provided on the DASH  Diet.  Also, just 3 ounces of sockeye salmon, which packs almost 20 micrograms of vitamin D, will satisfy the requirement.

Disclaimer: This review was by a guest blogger. It may not be the opinion of the practitioners on this site. This is not a substitute for the advice of a doctor.