The original study to examine the efficacy of the DASH diet was conducted at four sites as a randomized controlled feeding study. While the diet provided 3,600 mg of sodium per day—significantly more than the current recommendation of 2,300 mg—it showed significant reductions in blood pressure as quickly as two weeks after the start of the diet, suggesting that the combination of foods and nutrients is what provides the greatest blood pressure-lowering effects.4
Fat isn’t the enemy, but you should be aware that some fats are more beneficial than others. I get most of my dietary fat from extra-virgin olive oil, avocados, nuts, and seeds. I totally avoid trans fats. Be careful when selecting dairy foods; sometimes “low-fat” and “nonfat” foods contain more sugar that their full-fat counterparts. Read the labels.
Hi Holly – Thanks for the question. According to the South Beach Diet’s website all of their foods meet the sodium requirements from the American Heart Association. Here’s some info from their FAQs page: Question: “Are the South Beach Diet foods high in sodium? No. All the South Beach Diet® prepared foods meet the American Heart Association’s recommendation of 600mg or less of sodium in each meal, with many options coming in well under that amount. You can view sodium content and other nutrition information for each food item in the menu section.” Hope that helps!
“Crash diets, also called meal-replacement programs, have become increasingly fashionable in the past few years,” said lead author Dr. Jennifer Rayner, Oxford Centre for Magnetic Resonance, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK. “The metabolic improvements with a very low-calorie diet, such as a reduction in liver fat and reversal of diabetes, would be expected to improve heart function. Instead, heart function got worse in the first week before starting to improve.”

In light of Paleo's low ranking in US News & World Report, it stands to reason why most RDs don't advocate the diet—and for a variety of reasons. "The Paleo diet has a lot of good things going for it. It recommends excluding processed foods and refined sugars and emphasizes fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and lean protein," says Heather Mangieri, MS, RDN, CSSD, LDN, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and author of Fueling Young Athletes. However, Mangieri says, "Any diet that suggests eliminating an entire food group can set you up for nutritional deficiencies, boredom, and an overfocus on food." Because the diet eliminates all dairy, meeting calcium and vitamin D requirements can be difficult. Mangieri has experienced this issue firsthand in her private practice. "Even though Paleo proponents claim they can meet their calcium needs from nondairy foods, I have yet to find a client that eats that many greens and is that thought out in their eating. Supplementation becomes a must to meet the needs for these nutrients."
We love nuts and they are decidedly paleo diet friendly. Be careful though, as cashews are high in fat and, for some reason, it’s incredibly easy to eat an entire jar of them in one sitting (that’s not just us, is it?). If you’re trying to lose weight, limit the amount of nuts you’re consuming. Otherwise, have at it. I mean, you can’t beat a good almond/pecan/walnut mix, can you?
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Recommended by the 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans as a healthful dietary pattern,8 the DASH diet is an amalgam of every healthful eating recommendation that health and nutrition experts have been making for decades, eg, eat more fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy, nuts and seeds, beans, and whole grains, and lower intake of sodium and sugar.
At the same time, other research has linked sugar-sweetened beverage consumption to a greater risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and obesity. The upshot seems to be this: Stop drinking any beverages that have been sugar- or artificially sweetened, and switch to water, tea or coffee. Incidentally, drinking coffee has recently been associated with longer life. Another recent study concluded that long-term consumption of coffee is linked to a “modest decrease in risk” of developing hypertension. There’s no need to fear caffeine, either. Yet another study recently noted that moderate caffeine consumption, even in the absence of coffee drinking, is linked to a reduced risk of all-cause mortality.
One larger randomized controlled trial followed 70 post-menopausal Swedish women with obesity for two years, who were placed on either a Paleo diet or a Nordic Nutrition Recommendations (NNR) diet. [7] The Paleo diet provided 30% of total calories from protein, 40% fat (from mostly monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats) and 30% carbohydrates. It included lean meats, fish, eggs, vegetables, fruits, berries, nuts, avocado, and olive oil. The NNR diet provided less protein and fat but more carbohydrate with 15% protein, 25-30% fat, and 55-60% carbohydrates, including foods similar to the Paleo diet but also low-fat dairy products and high-fiber grains. Both groups significantly decreased fat mass and weight circumference at 6 and 24 months, with the Paleo diet producing greater fat loss at 6 months but not at 24 months. Triglyceride levels decreased more significantly with the Paleo diet at 6 and 24 months than the NNR diet.
A 30-year-old Caucasian male without significant past medical history presented with a two day history of nausea, vomiting and diffuse abdominal pain. The patient denied use of any medications (prescription or nonprescription) or any illicit substances. He did admit to occasional ethanol ingestion stating that he consumed four alcoholic beverages (approximately 0.6 ounces ethanol each) the night prior to the onset of symptoms. The patient had a family history of diabetes mellitus type 2 on both the paternal and maternal side.
Eating out is possible on the DASH Diet, but proceed with caution. Restaurant meals are notoriously salty, oversized and fatty, so you’ll need to be conscientious if you dine out. NHLBI suggests avoiding salt by shunning pickled, cured or smoked items; limiting condiments; choosing fruits or vegetables instead of soup; and requesting the chef find other ways to season your meal. You can also drink alcohol moderately on the DASH Diet.
South Beach Diet is OK. There are a lot of complaints on this page,and here’s what I’ll say. People don’t like the small portions and frozen food, but it was my bad decisions with food (and big portions) that made me have to go on a diet like South Beach to begin with. If you are going to try meal delivery diet, try Nutrisystem instead. It’s cheaper, a little better, and even made by the same company as South Beach Diet!
The only books based on updated DASH research, include the bestseller, The DASH Diet Weight Loss Solution, which can help you harness the health benefits of the DASH diet for weight loss. The brand new book and NY Times bestseller, The DASH Diet Younger You, is pumped up on plants to help you become and look younger from the inside out. It fully supports both vegetarians and meat eaters, with meal plans and recipes, and is based on real, unprocessed, and additive-free foods. The essential companion, The Everyday DASH Diet Cookbook will make a great addition to your kitchen collection. These books stand alongside the top DASH diet resource, The DASH Diet Action Plan, to give you a fresh start to healthy eating.
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