DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) is a government-designed nutritional approach focusing on fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy foods designed to lower blood pressure and cholesterol. In fact, the U.S News & World Report once again ranked it #1 out of 38 diets for 2016—Experts gave it high marks for “nutritional completeness” (as determined by the U.S. Dietary Guidelines), safety and its ability to prevent or control diabetes and role in supporting heart health. For some background, you can read one of my previous blogs about what defines a “best” diet, and how the best-ranked diet may not necessarily be the best for you… but, in the meantime, let’s look into some new research comparing DASH with a low-carb version.
Recently, a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition tested the effects of the traditional DASH diet and a modified DASH diet using high-fat dairy products—in other words, a lower-carb version of DASH—on blood pressure and cholesterol. Thirty-six healthy participants followed a control diet, the traditional DASH diet, and the “lower-carb” DASH diet for three weeks each. The result? Both diets lowered blood pressure, but participants on the “lower-carb” DASH diet also reduced their triglycerides and very-low-density lipoproteins (VLDL).
What does this mean to you? If you have hypertension and your doctor recommends the DASH diet, not need to feel conflicted, based on the outcome of this study, you will achieve similar positive results with a low-carb version of the DASH diet.