Higher-Fat DASH Diet Helps Blood Pressure, Cholesterol

The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension diet, or DASH diet, has long been one of the popular recommended approaches for heart health and weight loss.

Adding a little extra fat to the diet, according to a new study, doesn't hurt - and it may even help to improve blood pressure and lower cholesterol.

The DASH diet, which was ranked best diet for the 6th year in a row by US News & World Report, is focused on plant-based foods, low-fat dairy products, lean meats and heart-healthy fats.

Full-fat dairy, less carbs?

The current study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that adding full-fat dairy foods to the DASH diet and reducing carbohydrates slightly still enabled participants to reap the benefits of the diet.

Researchers tested three groups of participants: one that was on the traditional DASH diet, one that was on the higher-fat DASH diet, and one control group.

The two DASH diet groups saw a significant reduction in triglycerides, the study found, and also improved blood pressure.

"Therefore the modified [DASH] diet presents an effective alternative to the widely recommended DASH diet, with less stringent dietary fat constraints that may promote even broader implementation," the study authors explained.

People using the DASH diet for weight loss may still want to opt for low- or non-fat dairy foods, as full-fat products tend to have more calories.

Source: Children's Hospital & Research Center Oakland

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