Is the DASH Diet Effective?

Is the DASH Diet Effective?

Is the DASH Diet Effective?

Nutrition Expert Sean McGovern Breaks it Down

Athletes and fitness enthusiasts are constantly hunting for the best diet or nutritional program to enhance their fitness and health. After all, the best asset to any health nut is an easy to follow nutritional program that guarantees results. But is there such a thing as the ‘best’ diet?

For the 8th year in a row, the DASH Diet has been ranked the number one diet according to the U.S. News & World Report. In order to discover why this diet has continued to rank highly year after year, we thought we’d break down what exactly this diet is.

DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. This plan was first developed by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute(NHLBI) in the 1990s as a way to fight high blood pressure.

So what’s on the menu in a typical DASH diet?

Simple things. five daily servings of fruit, five daily servings of vegetables, two to three daily servings of low-fat dairy, roughly eight daily servings of whole grains, and protein from two daily servings of lean meats, along with five servings of beans, nuts, and seeds a week.

We thought we’d ask our own nutritional expert, Head Coach Sean McGovern, about some of the claims made in a recent Men’s Health article about this diet…

*five daily servings of fruit, five daily servings of vegetables*

“Holy crap, look at that, that is 10 shades! This is one of the principles and ways we teach our clients to eat in a way to force them to get the proper amount of nutrient density.” -Sean Mcgovern

*two to three daily servings of low-fat dairy*

“This is their way of getting people some essential fatty acids, without scaring them into having ‘more fat’.. and eating ‘fatty foods’.” Sean McGovern

*Roughly eight daily servings of whole grains*

“This is gnarly.. high fiber will have great benefits, given that you can handle that kind of increase in fiber, specifically if you’re coming from an SAD; most folks also can’t just eat 8 servings of grains; so that would need to be split up between 3 meals, which then is impacting the glycemic load of glucose entering the blood stream, hence moderating healthier blood sugar levels.” Sean McGovern

*Protein from two daily servings of lean meats*

“Popular diet because it doesn’t ask you to eat fatty diets like paleo or atkins may. It maintains the lie that low fat is good. Two servings of lean meats is somewhat negligent especially as a broad stroke comment.” – Sean McGovern

*along with five servings of beans, nuts, and seeds a week.*

“…extra fat, but high in phytochemicals.” Sean McGovern

*Your goal with DASH is to minimize your sodium intake to under 2,300 milligrams a day, and restrict added sugars and saturated fats — mostly from red meats.*

“The above statement is pandering to the uneducated groups. All those fruit/veg/legumes/grains present in DASH actually make this a moderate carbohydrate diet, that’s managed by high fiber. However, there’s definitely some benefits to the fiber and the ‘real food’ approach. It makes it super easy to drop sodium levels; but there’s easily other ways to do that. This is kind of a eat real food’ diet and keeps people happy with their moderate to high carbs” Sean McGovern

While the DASH diet certainly shows some promise, we at OPEX don’t believe in templated approaches to nutrition. Nutrition needs to be tackled individually. If you need help on determining what foods work well for you, reach out to one of our coaches today.


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