Dash Diet Compared to Mediterranean Diet
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Dash Diet Compared to Mediterranean Diet
The diets I will be evaluating are the DASH Diet and the Mediterranean Diet. I chose these two diets for comparison because, for one, high blood pressure tends to be an issue in the older members of my family, and secondly diabetes that runs in family members.
Mediterranean diet has more benefits than dropping weight; it aims at brain and heart health, cancer prevention, and diabetes prevention and control and is number two on the list of best diets in the US.
This diet comes from the generally accepted concept that people from Mediterranean regions eat a diet that allows them to live longer with less pain and chronic diseases due to a lower intake of red meat, sugar, saturated fat and an overall active lifestyle.
Dash Diet has more of a specific health focus than the Mediterranean diet, it aims to prevent and lower high blood pressure or hypertension, a common issue in the United States, and is number one on the best diets list in the US.
This diet uses basic health principals of eating fruits, veggies, whole-grains, lean protein, and low-fat dairy that provide the best nutrients, protein, and fiber for cardiovascular health while avoiding calorie and fat-filled sweets, red meats, and cutting back on salt.
While DASH is called a diet, it is not certainly meant for weight loss. The foods that are best for cardiovascular health and prevent or stop high blood pressure correlate with weight loss because they are more healthful than the foods that cause high blood pressure like the fast food and red meat common in American Diets.
While these diets focus on different aspects of health, they both provide the best nutrition for the body and preventing chronic disease.
The DASH diet is a bit stricter on the foods one can consume then the Mediterranean Diet. While the Dash diet instructs to shun high calorie, high fat, high sugar foods, and red meats, the Mediterranean diet recommends only restricting these in low amounts.
The main difference in the healthful foods promoted in these diets is the amount of fat allowed. The Mediterranean diet is very adamant about ‘healthy fats’ like olive oil, cheese, yogurt and milk in moderation including seafood of which contains loads of heart-healthy fats.
The DASH diet focuses more on the basic food groups of fruits, veggies, whole-grains and lean meat all in rawer forms including a large cut back on the salt of which the Mediterranean diet does not specify.
Being on the Mediterranean diet for a long period promotes a healthy lifestyle that is low in risk of chronic disease and promotes a healthy weight, and being on the DASH diet for a long period will lower high blood pressure, maintain it at a healthy point, which is important for diabetics and older people while helping to maintain a healthy weight.
Studies of the Mediterranean diet have demonstrated that it promotes the prevention of chronic diseases, specifically cardiovascular diseases, due to the controlling of cholesterol by consuming heart-healthy fats, nuts, and cereals that also prevent diabetes. In a 2017 Lyon Diet Heart Study, it was shown that those who pursued the diet for five years saw a 70% lower risk of cardiovascular disease.
On the other hand, studies of the DASH diet have shown the basic food groups’ ability to prevent and control high blood pressure by avoiding foods that contain cholesterol and salt that promote hypertension and eventually cardiovascular disease because they clog up the arteries.
Cutting out the red meats, high sugar, and high-fat foods over a long period with this diet promote healthy arteries and studies by the American Heart Association have shown that persons on the DASH diet for three weeks showed a systolic blood pressure level drop from 146mmHG (hypertension) to 134mmHg. This evidence and continued use of these diets are what keeps them at the top of the US best diets list.
You may also like to read “Mediterranean Diet Food List“.
Which is easy to follow?
This would be based on if living in small quarters like school dorm rooms.
The DASH diet would be the easiest to follow because the student union and my sorority supply healthy options including all the needed food groups for me without cooking.
The Mediterranean diet would involve a lot of cooking since the food options for me on campus do not include Mediterranean food and I would have to use the community kitchen which requires renting kitchenware and ubering to a grocery store.
Even though the cost of both diets if I prepared them myself would not be an issue with my parent’s support, they are incredibly inconvenient when compared to the time in the day I have as a student so I would have to hope that my options on campus each day would be enough to fulfill the diets.
If I were to be recommending one of these two diets to friends and family, it would be the Mediterranean diet since it is less restrictive than the DASH diet.
They could still be self-confident in eating out and cooking at home by knowing that while they need to be eating certain foods, they could still in some moderation enjoy the sweets or the red meats everyone craves occasionally.
This is especially good for my family at home because seafood is incredibly accessible, and my first-generation polish and Italian grandparents enjoy wine with every meal. Being given the food that is necessary for a healthy lifestyle but not feeling too restricted by those foods makes them more likely to follow the diet.