DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, a strategy that has proved quite effective in lowering blood pressure. The diet involves consuming less salt and fat and more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products. It’s low in saturated fat, total fat, and cholesterol, and includes poultry, fish, and nuts, but includes much less red meat and fewer sweets and sugared beverages than most Americans are accustomed to consuming. Another version of the DASH diet limits sodium intake. By following the DASH diet, you should be able to pare 5.5 to 11.4 points off your systolic pressure (the top number in a blood pressure reading) and 3 to 5.5 points off your diastolic pressure (the bottom number in a blood pressure reading). Research also suggests that the diet reduces blood levels of homocysteine, a toxic amino acid that may increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, and peripheral vascular disease.
Refined carbs lack nutrients and can wreak havoc on your blood sugar. Whole grains are best; have four small daily portions of whole-wheat bread, or try a pasta made from quinoa. And always eat grains with healthy fats and protein. Incorporate sprouted or fermented grains (hello, sourdough!) for easier digestion and better nutrient absorption. Or look for creative ways to swap out grains, such as using spaghetti squash in place of noodles.
An approach that has been popular with some people with type 1 diabetes mellitus since 2000 is known as DAFNE (Dose Adjustment for Normal Eating). This approach involves estimating the amount of carbohydrates in a meal and modifying the amount of insulin one injects accordingly. An equivalent approach has for people with type 2 diabetes mellitus is known as DESMOND, which stands for Diabetes Education and Self-Management for On-Going and Newly Diagnosed (diabetes). DAFNE has a newsletter and has received recommendation.[18]
Ever wonder why people from the Mediterranean region seem so happy and full of life? It’s tempting to attribute their good health and positive moods to one single factor alone — like their diet, for example — but the truth is that it’s a combination of their lifestyle factors and their unprocessed diets that has promoted their longevity and low rates of disease for centuries.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet. The diet, which emphasizes foods rich in protein, fiber, potassium, magnesium, and calcium (fruits and vegetables, beans, nuts, whole grains, and low-fat dairy), has been shown time and again to be effective in lowering elevated blood pressure. More recent research has suggested it also can be effective in reducing inflammation markers, lowering the risk of developing kidney disease (a common complication of hypertension), and decreasing levels of low-density lipoproteins (an established risk factor for CVD) and several types of cancer.
The concept of a Mediterranean diet was developed to reflect "food patterns typical of Crete, much of the rest of Greece, and southern Italy in the early 1960s".[33] Although it was first publicized in 1975 by the American biologist Ancel Keys and chemist Margaret Keys (his wife and collaborator),[36] the Mediterranean diet failed to gain widespread recognition until the 1990s. Objective data showing that Mediterranean diet is healthful originated from results of epidemiological studies in Naples and Madrid [37] confirmed later by the Seven Countries Study, with first publication in 1970,[38] and a book-length report in 1980.[39] The most commonly understood version of the Mediterranean diet was presented, among others, by Walter Willett of Harvard University's School of Public Health from the mid-1990s on.[40][41][42][43]
You still have to cap alcohol. The hallmark of a Mediterranean diet is that drinking red wine socially is thought to be one reason why the diet is so healthy. But women should still stick to one glass, and men two glasses. If you have a history of breast cancer in the family, know that any alcohol consumption raises that risk. (31) In that case, talk to your doctor to find out what’s right for you.
For coffee addicts: We really love (need) coffee too, so we understand why everyone has questions about coffee on the Military Diet! Caffeine withdrawal is no fun, especially when you’re already on a low calorie diet. So here’s some good news… Black coffee has less than 5 calories per cup, so if you need to sneak in a cup here and there, just cut out the equivalent calories elsewhere. Do not add cream and sugar. You can add Stevia if you like. You’re welcome…
DASH researchers studied three different diets on 459 people (27% of subjects had high blood pressure; the rest had normal). Keeping sodium levels constant (3,000 milligrams each day) they compared the traditional American diet (high in total fat, low in potassium, magnesium and calcium) to a diet high in fruits and vegetables (still not ideal in calcium or fat levels) and to a combination diet (the DASH diet - high in fruits, vegetables and low fat dairy foods and also low in total fat from animal products).
The traditional Mediterranean diet is based on typical eating habits from the early 1960's in some Mediterranean areas, including parts of Greece and Southern Italy. During that time, the rates of coronary heart disease were among the lowest in the world and the life expectancy rates were among the highest. These trends were attributed to the eating habits in the regions. More recently, in a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the Mediterranean diet was shown to reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke and death related to heart problems by 30%.
To reach the goal of phase 2, the person should avoid all table salt and avoid adding any salt to cooking. We tend to get more than the recommended amount of sodium when we eat packaged or processed foods or when eating or dining out. Salt is the major source of sodium in the diet, and we can usually refer to the two words interchangeably unless we are discussing specific biochemical processes.
Just remember that all olive oil is not created equally. Unfortunately, most commercial manufacturers that are trying to ride the health hype on olive oil have rushed to the market with all kinds of fake olive oils, which are imitations and inferior products. The problem is these oils aren’t always harvested or processed properly, which can kill many of their delicate nutrients and turn some of their fatty acids rancid or toxic.
The biggest step you can make is getting your mind made up to actually do what you can to help yourself. The military diet and military diet substitutes will only get you so far. Every diet has crazy claims and ardent opponents.  If you look for the supporting studies, you will wind up with relatively few options. But as I said earlier, follow the diet as closely as you can.  It’s made up this way for a reason.  Good luck!
If you've been cooking with vegetable oil or coconut oil, make the switch to extra-virgin olive oil. Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids which may improve HDL cholesterol, the "good" type of cholesterol. HDL cholesterol ferries "bad" LDL particles out of arteries, according to a 2017 study in Circulation. Use olive oil in homemade salad dressings nd vinaigrettes. Drizzle it on finished dishes like fish or chicken to boost flavor. Swap butter for olive oil in mashed potatoes, pasta, and more.