Challenge 2020: Mediterranean or DASH?
By Stephen R. Farris
Feeling bummed out about all the foods you've eaten over the past couple of months? It's still not too late to consider that New Year's resolution to start eating healthier. You might consider two of the best diets for weight loss and overall health, DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) and the Mediterranean diet.
Both diets use mirror-like approaches when it comes to your heart health. Each diet promotes the consumption of whole foods and heart-healthy fats, and they offer a lot of flexibility whereas other diets are a lot more strict. If you are a picky eater, then either of these diets are right for you.
The DASH diet meal plans include fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean cuts of meat. It limits the amount of red meat consumed and pushes for lower sodium and sugars to be used. The diet was designed to help lower blood pressure, but some of the perks you may receive could be weight loss and a reduced chance of cancer. Studies have shown it can also help lower your risk for diabetes and metabolic syndrome risk. DASH allows for six to eight servings of whole grains per day, four to five servings of vegetables per day, four to five servings of fruit per day, two to three servings of dairy products per day, six or fewer servings of lean chicken, meat or fish (limiting red meat to no more than once per week) per day, two to three servings of fats and oils per day, five or fewer servings of candy and added sugars per week and four to five servings of nuts, seeds and legumes per week. Talk with your doctor or chiropractor prior to starting any diet. They may also have literature available for you to take home and read. To find out more about serving sizes, you can click on the link provided for each diet plan.
The Mediterranean Diet leans more towards fatty fish (lean cuts of chicken and lamb may also be included), fruits and vegetables, legumes and beans, nuts and seeds, plus red wine (limit one glass per day and usually with a meal) for consumption and cooking. Foods to avoid or limit are red meat, processed foods (most all canned veggies and fruits, along with other foods prepackaged), processed meats (sausage, canned ham, hot dogs, etc.), refined grains, and sweets. Pretty cut and dried.
Health benefits can include lower blood pressure, reduced risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes and stroke.
To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Taylors, S.C.