The DASH Diet: All Hype or Healthful?

With all of the trendy diets and food fads out there today, it can be difficult to decipher which ones are actually healthy.

The DASH Diet, in particular, has been promoted as a food plan with hypertension - one of the major risk factors for diabetes - in mind.

The acronym itself stands for "Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension." But how does this diet really add up compared to the hype?

The Diet

The diet avoids foods heavy in saturated fat and cholesterol, both of which are causes of high blood pressure. Participants of the diet are encouraged to avoid processed foods, sugary drinks, and red meat. These are the same foods that diabetics are recommended to avoid.

The meal plans mainly consist of fruits and vegetables. The milk products used in the recipes are fat-free or low-fat. The diet also incorporates the other healthy food groups, including whole grains, fish, poultry, beans, seeds and nuts.

Basics of the DASH Diet

For people on a diet of 2,000 calories per day, the DASH Diet recommends:

  • 7-8 servings of grain/grain products
  • 4-5 servings of fruit and vegetables each
  • 2-3 servings of low or non-fat dairy products
  • 2 or fewer servings of lean meats, fish, or poultry
  • 4-5 servings of nuts, seeds, and legumes per week
  • limited servings of fats and sweets

The plan itself will outline specific meal plans which will help you begin - and maintain - these healthy recommendations.

The Diet and Diabetes

It is important that participants of the DASH Diet are aware that it is not a diabetes-specific food plan. However, hypertension is an especially important risk factor for diabetes and can lead to complications if one already has diabetes.

The DASH Diet plan can be used as a complementary part of a diabetic diet to help prevent heart disease and stroke, two chronic diseases which can be a result of diabetes.

Even if diabetics do not decide to use the DASH Diet specifically, the fundamentals of the diet should be kept in mind. The diet also encourages exercise, which should be a regular component of the diabetic lifestyle.

For other healthy diet ideas, check out the Best Diets of 2013.

Sources: Live Strong, Dash Diet

Get a Free Diabetes Meal Plan

Get a free 7-Day Diabetes Meal Plan from Constance Brown-Riggs who is a Registered Dietitian-Certified Diabetes Educator and who is also a national spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association.

Just enter in your email below to download your free Diabetes Meal Plan.

By clicking Submit, you agree to send your info to BattleDiabetes.com who, in addition to 3rd party partners, may contact you with updates, products and information and we agree to use it according to our privacy policy and terms and conditions.

More Articles

More Articles

Scientists have discovered that a single gene forms a common link between type 2 diabetes and...

Natural supplements like cinnamon extract and apple cider vinegar could hold the key to lowering blood sugar levels, according to a recent...

Natural supplements like cinnamon extract and apple cider vinegar could hold the key to lowering blood sugar levels, according to a recent...

Could a person's risk for type 2 diabetes be written in their genes?

According to a study recently published in ...

Women who frequently shift around their sleeping hours could have worse metabolic health outcomes than their peers who stick with a...

The presence of the hormone leptin may hinder prenatal development, which could explain the origin of type 2 diabetes, according to...

An analysis of fossilized Native American feces shows that our ancestors ate up to sixteen times the fiber that we do today, but our...

Managing diabetes is hugely challenging for people of any age, but a new study suggests that young people may suffer all the more....

Disruptions to the gut’s ecosystem could be a future symptom facing young children who take antibiotics, which makes them more susceptible...

Breastfeeding a newborn holds many benefits for mommy and baby; it reduces the baby's risk for colds and viruses, it helps his bones (and yours)...

Fans of the Dexcom G5 Mobile have something to smile about.

At yesterday's hearing with the U.S. Food and Drug...

If you start your day with a cup of tea and end it with a glass of red wine, your blood sugar may thank you.

At least that...

As medical experts continue to debate whether or not "healthy obesity" can even exist, one new study suggests that risk for heart disease...

For years, type 1 diabetics have been anxiously waiting for that medical marvel that can stop the constant injections: the artificial...

“Low-fat” has been the battle cry of the health-conscious for over ‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌...