Best Diet for Healthy Eating—DASH Diet Comes Out on Top

Friday, May 8, 2020
Livliga Book Review DASH Diet
Dash Diet Comes Out on Top!

Every year the U.S. News and World Report comes out with a new list ranking the Best Diets. The battle for the top position seems to toggle between the Mediterranean and DASH Diet.  In 2020 it is a tie for these two approaches to healthy eating.

All of us have a sense of what the Mediterranean diet is but what is a DASH Diet? According to the Report “The DASH Diet…stands for dietary approaches to stop hypertension and is promoted by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute to do exactly that: stop (or prevent) hypertension, aka high blood pressure. It emphasizes the foods you've always been told to eat (fruits, veggies, whole grains, lean protein and low-fat dairy), which are high in blood pressure-deflating nutrients like potassium, calcium, protein and fiber. DASH also discourages foods that are high in saturated fat, such as fatty meats, full-fat dairy foods and tropical oils, as well as sugar-sweetened beverages and sweets. Following DASH also means capping sodium at 2,300 milligrams a day, which followers will eventually lower to about 1,500 milligrams. DASH Diet is balanced and can be followed long term, which is a key reason nutrition experts rank it as U.S. News’ Best Overall Diet, tied with the Mediterranean Diet.”

Livliga Cod Recipe on Vivente
From the Book: Spanish-Style Pan-Roasted Cod...served up on Livliga's Vivente dinner!

When you compare these two diets it is evident that they are very similar in types of foods they promote and their focus on health as a lifestyle. I got to thinking that if you combined the two you would end up with the perfect long-term healthy lifestyle diet. It turns out Marla Heller, MS, RD has already done this in her book, The DASH Diet: Mediterranean Solution.

Livliga Lamb Tagine healthy recipe on Halsa
Livliga Healthy Lamb Tagine on Halsa Portion Control Dinnerware

Ms. Heller offers detailed information about our health and the impact the food we eat, in specific quantities, has on our health. She presents a compelling argument why all of us can benefit from these two methods of eating combined. As she states, “The Mediterranean and DASH diets have so many hidden benefits for the health of the whole body. These diets help reduce systemic inflammation, and risk of heart disease and stroke, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer. They protect our bone health and kidneys, and may even be associated with a lower risk for depression.” She also provides an eating plan as well as a 14-day Meal plan to get you started. Recipes are provided like Spanish-Style Pan-Roasted Cod and Lamb Tagine. Of the recipes I have tried I found them to be simple and straightforward to follow as well as tasty to eat. Here is another version of Lamb Tagine available on the Livliga Live Vibrant blog.

Tending to our health is the greatest gift we can give to ourselves as well as the ones we love. It is amazing to realize that just by eating certain foods and cooking them in a certain way we can improve our health and live as our healthiest selves.  We all deserve to live a healthy life.

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