The DASH diet was created based on research from the United States National Institutes of Health and was originally designed to be a way to reduce blood pressure from eating to people with hypertension. Since its inception, the DASH diet has been shown to reduce the risk of many diseases, including cancer, heart disease and diabetes. In addition, the DASH diet can also help with healthy and sustainable weight loss.
The new DASH diet
The diet has undergone some modifications over the years. It was originally quite high in grains and carbohydrates and has been modified to better fit with the principles of controlled carbohydrate weight loss. The new DASH diet cuts back on “empty carbohydrates” and includes more protein and essential fats. The DASH diet is recommended by leading health authorities, including the National Heart, the American Heart Association , the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, and the United States for the treatment of high blood pressure.
DASH Basic Principles
The DASH diet is a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. It also encourages whole grains, as well as lean meats, fish and poultry. Vegetarian protein sources of nuts, seeds and legumes are another important feature. The diet also restricts sodium intake to the appropriate levels.
DASH diet study
The DASH diet came out of the National Institutes of Health studies that examined three diet plans and their effects. The DASH plan, which incorporates most fruits and vegetables, low-fat or fat-free dairy, beans and nuts, proved to be the most effective. The diet was able to reduce systolic blood pressure by 6 mm Hg and diastolic blood pressure by 3 mm Hg in patients with pre-hypertension. These changes also occurred regardless of changes in weight.
Two experimental diets were selected for the DASH study and compared to each other. The third diet, which was low in minerals and fiber and represented a more typical American diet, was used as a control. The other experimental diet was similar to the control diet, but it also contained fruits and vegetables. The DASH diet was high in fruits and vegetables and low-fat dairy products, as well as the lowest in total fat and saturated fat, and highest in fiber and protein compared to the control diet. The DASH diet also allowed for small amounts of sugars and sweets, in contrast to the other diets, which included more liberal amounts. Since its inception, the DASH diet has been studied and proven to help prevent many chronic diseases.
Dash diet menu – type day for the energy level 1600 kcal
Unsweetened coffee or tea
2 slices of wholemeal bread (80 g) + 1 teaspoon margarine rich in omega 3
1 large glass of skim milk (200 ml)
1 apple (about 150g)
Grated carrots + 1 teaspoon of chive oil
1 white or 1 leg of roasted poultry
100 g whole pasta with curry steamed zucchini
40 g light cheese + 1 nice slice of wholemeal bread (40 g)
1 orange (about 150 g)
Coffee, tea or unsweetened tea
1 apple (about 150 g)
10 almonds or pistachios
1 fish fillet in herbs of Provence
200g steamed potatoes, parsley, nutmeg
1 natural yoghurt
Who should follow the DASH diet?
The DASH diet is really for anyone who wants to follow a lifestyle health and prevent diseases. The following groups will benefit specifically:
People at risk of chronic diseases: Some people may have a family history or some other propensity for hypertension, cardiovascular disease or cancer. Although this group can’t present with any clinical problems, following the DASH diet can help prevent future problems that arise.
The hypertensive patients: Since the DASH diet was originally designed for people with chronically high blood pressure (hypertension), the diet can be followed as an alternative to medication or as an adjunct to medication in those who can’t control their blood pressure through diet alone.
People who wish to delay aging: Since the DASH diet is rich in antioxidants from fruits and vegetables, it provides a good basis for an anti-aging plan by being rich in a variety of anti-aging antioxidants.
Athletes and physically very active people: As it is a higher carbohydrate way of eating, the DASH diet is a great way for active people and athletes to gain extra energy from glucose in a calorie-controlled, nutrient-rich plan.
Families: Since this diet does not restrict any food group and is sensible and balanced, the whole family can enjoy its benefits. Cooking in a friendly way DASH ensures that children have a good start and learn healthy eating habits since childhood.
The DASH diet provides for people who want to eat and control general healthy diseases, people who want to lose specific weight and also for vegetarians.
What are the limits of the dash program?
The DASH program is very close to the Mediterranean diet and favors the consumption of fruits and vegetables, cereals, pulses, seeds and almonds and other nuts. “Since it provides more animal protein (dairy products, lean meats, poultry) and less polyunsaturated fat with only 2-3 teaspoons of oil or margarine a day, it is important to eat the seeds and oilseeds.
Indeed, this slimming diet allows very little fat, these seeds and oilseeds are the major source of fatty acids. Hence the need not to zap them.
In addition, in the context of the DASH diet, intake of omega-3 essential fatty acids, essential for the body (constitution of cell membranes, good functioning of the cardiovascular, cerebral, hormonal and inflammatory system) remain below the recommended intakes. We can regret that fatty fish such as mackerel, salmon, herring, sardines are not recommended.
A difficult diet to follow
Like all diets” slimming “, the DASH method has results as long as we apply the recommended menus to the letter. It remains directive and standardized, the menus are quantitatively rationed and the portions that must be consumed must be respected, which makes it difficult to persevere in the program. Indeed, following this diet is cooking meat, poultry, fish, vegetables and starchy without fat, so with little taste and reduce the amount of sugar and salt. This diet may lack flavor and be difficult to follow for a long time. Nevertheless, do not hesitate to play with spices and herbs to give taste.
While this method seems effective in the short term with the limitations described, it does not provide any personalized solution for a lasting change in eating behavior. Only an individual food balance sheet and personalized support by a nutrition professional (nutritionist doctor, nutritionist dietitian), can respond in a suitable and educational way. Diet alone is not enough for the success of a slimming program, physical activity is a significant element. You can read the article: Keys to a successful diet, to know that there is no “miracle diet” that allows for easy, fast and definitive weight loss.