Have you heard of the DASH diet?
You probably have if you've been diagnosed with high blood pressure. It stands for “Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension”. It should be called the “politically correct/keep-you-sick” diet.
I first heard of it when my friend, Sue, sent me this e-mail.
“Kelly, can you comment on the article below? I believe so much of what you and others who share your philosophy say, but how do I reconcile it with the following?”
The article she referred to has since been taken down.
It talked about a study showing how the DASH diet helped people lower their blood pressure.
This was my first clue to be cautious:
In addition to being recommended by your physician, DASH is also endorsed by:
- The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (one of the National Institutes of Health, of the US Department of Health and Human Services)
- The American Heart Association (AHA)
- The 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans
- US guidelines for treatment of high blood pressure
- The 2011 AHA Treatment Guidelines for Women
- The Mayo Clinic
When all of those organizations give it a thumbs up, in most cases you should do the exact opposite!
Here are details on the DASH diet…
“DASH is a flexible and balanced eating plan that helps create a heart-healthy eating style for life.
The DASH diet eating plan requires no special foods and instead provides daily and weekly nutritional goals. This plan recommends:
- Eating vegetables, fruits, and whole grains
- Including fat-free or low-fat dairy products, fish, poultry, beans, nuts, and vegetable oils
- Limiting foods that are high in saturated fat, such as fatty meats, full-fat dairy products, and tropical oils such as coconut, palm kernel, and palm oils
- Limiting sugar-sweetened beverages and sweets.”
In case that's not bad enough, here are a couple of their recommendations in more detail:
Soft margarine, vegetable oil (such as canola, corn, olive, or safflower), low-fat mayonnaise, light salad dressing.
Fruit-flavored gelatin, fruit punch, hard candy, jelly, maple syrup, sorbet and ices, sugar sweets should be low in fat. Source: The D.A.S.H. diet from the National Heart Lung Blood Institute
I want to throw up reading about the DASH diet!
- Margarine? Vegetable oil? Low-fat dressings and mayo? Nooooo! These fats are what get and keep people sick! Why not healthy traditional fats that our bodies need?
- Fruit-flavored gelatin and fruit punch: unbelievable! Have their nutritionists ever read an ingredient label on one of those?!! It's loaded with fake chemical colors and flavors, high fructose corn syrup, and no real fruit for sure. Hard candy and store-bought jelly are similar. “Sugar sweets should be low in fat.” Wow. Obviously they have no idea how the healthy fats in desserts, like real whipped cream for example, actually helps to lower the glycemic index of the sweet they're eating, which slows down the insulin response! Here are some better options if you're going to eat sweets in moderation.
- Skinless/lean meats?!! That's not how God made them in nature, the protein comes with the fats for a reason! (One helps digest the other–God knew what He was doing, duh!) Find a good farmer who sells meat from animals roaming free and fed their natural diet, what a healthy food you'll have then. (Don't have a good local source for meat? Here's where I sometimes buy safe meat online.)
They still actually suggest margarine in their sample menus for the DASH diet!
Seriously, who writes these pages for the Mayo clinic???
What about common sense?
Yes, if those with high blood pressure in that study ate more fresh vegetables and cut out processed or fast foods, those changes alone are a HUGE difference compared to most standard American diets, so of course they're going to show improvements. And if by cutting out fat, they cut their TRANS fats (not healthy fats from animals raised right), then just those things would make someone healthier and that would show in the study, too.
But imagine if they did all that AND ate healthy fats, pastured meats, full-fat cultured dairy, raw milk, cod liver oil, etc., along with a more nutrient-dense real, traditional foods diet overall, then they'd be really healthy. More importantly, they'd be more healthy long-term.
See more about all of that in my book!
Tell me in the comments, what do YOU think about the DASH diet? Does it scare you too?
- Here's a better way to lower blood pressure: How we got Kent OFF blood pressure meds (naturally!)
- Exciting Drug-Free Help for Alzheimers (also for Diabetes, PCOS and other Chronic Diseases) Hint: it’s NOT about Eating More Vegetables
- Do you know a child who suffers with weight issues? Ask their parents to read this for 16 ways to help an overweight child
I got sick reading it too. Margarine? Hasn’t Ever been in my house. Even as a young bride 40 years ago, I had the common sense to know anything made that way and with those ingredients was horrible for you. My mil argued with me for decades about ‘unhealthy’ use of butter. I finally brought butter to hers and asked her to read me the ingredients of both. She finally shut up. Food colour, fruit punch, hard candy, low fat everything? OM G! Reads like a list of what is Not in our diets. Thankful someone has some sense. Plus just what tastes best! Meat w/o fat? No thanks, but kudos to you my dear friend! Keep on educating. This reminds me of when the AHA, I believe, was down on coconut oil. Lord love a duck!
BTW, can’t keep those parm bagels in stock here. I told u I sub kefir for the yoghurt, and everyone’s asking me to make more.
Kellie M says
Some of these “diets” are crazy! My 14 year old daughter is on a high-salt diet and the list of foods given to us by a very well-known clinic was unbelievable!
I’m sure if they meant to list to be a go-to or just for info, but processed cheese products and fast food items were on the top of the list (as the list was sorted by highest sodium content.) I was shocked to receive this from the “education center”.
I’ve found the best way to increase her salt intake is to just have her salt everything!
Wow. I am speechless, and that’s rare.
Thanks for sharing Kellie, so we know we really really cannot blindly trust the “experts”.
Kelly the Kitchen Kop says
There’s nothing like real-life proof! Thanks for sharing!
I find this very interesting having never heard of the DASH diet. Upon reading it, it sounds like Weight Watchers. I was on Weight Watchers for 3 years. My family ate pretty much what I ate. I didn’t serve anything different to them. We ate the skim milk, lean meats (no skin, etc.), had the no fat stuff. I know, boring at best. At this time, my then 14 year old was diagnosed with high blood pressure. Hmmmm.. seems this “diet” should of kept him from having high blood pressure. Goes to show you.. it ain’t all that. lol We now eat fat and everything else good and his blood pressure has actually went down.
Just thought I’d share that. You’re right on it Kelly. Now, off to drink some whole milk! Yum!!
Love the B.A.R.F. bit. Couldn’t agree more. Same for “moderation”.
Kelly the Kitchen Kop says
Your pie sounded so good, now I'm making one today, too. Not sure if I deserve mine, though! I didn't pick my blueberries, I didn't even go myself to the farm market! Sonia picked me up a 5# box when she was going yesterday. It will be all homemade though, and with swiss steak & mashed potatoes & some other farm market veggie with lots of butter, Mmmmmm… 🙂
Michigan Mom2three says
Kelly – I agree with you on the word “moderation”. I hear that a lot, and I used to use the same phrase all the time…. “moderation in all things”. Sally Fallon once said “desserts are something you should deserve”. Hence the blueberry pie – I only make one, and it’s at blueberry season when I’ve picked them myself. It’s a seasonal treat that we all look forward to.
Kelly the Kitchen Kop says
Andrea, I’d love to have heard the doctor’s response to your father in-law! Love that story.
Crystal, great advice! Good to hear from you here. 🙂
Karen, funny you mention the word, “moderation” – I actually also have a weird pet peeve about the word and really don’t use it much – using it in this post bothered me. I can’t put my finger on why…maybe because people sometimes overuse the word as a way to justify too much. I’m not saying I’m all sparkly, I do love my sweets more than I should – but I call it what it is (I’m a pig) and don’t tell myself anything about “moderation”!
Shauna, Yowza! I’ll be over soon for any leftovers, but I doubt there are any! Isn’t that the truth, though?! Real food is so rich and flavorful with aromas that bring our family to the kitchen as they hound us, “When is it time to eat?!” Just how it was meant to be.
Michigan Mom2three says
Well – they would have had a heart attack over our supper tonight: Fried chicken dinner, REAL cream gravy, REAL mashed potatoes (with lots of butter and cream), homegrown beans with butter and salt, and homemade blueberry pie with a real pie crust made from coconut oil, and decalf coffee (yep, with REAL cream) for dessert! 😉
If only they knew how good the eatin’ could be! It saddens me to think of how few people really have the simple pleasure of enjoying real food!
I think you nailed it when you said you don’t pay attention to studies unless they first make common sense. Alas, we have traded in our common sense for the “experts” opinion. And, most “experts” are either bought off by the *sugar* industries or rest on the curriculum they studied 15 years ago.
Shame on them! I fired my nutritionist because she didn’t know the first thing about sugar addiction.
Most of them don’t: their party line? Moderation. Yeah, right and what do you do w/ the cravings that sets up?
You go, Kelly,keep up the fabulous work.
Crystal Machiele says
As a natural health practitioner who spends much time educating people about the appropriate diet for them as an individual, these types of studies make me laugh. Before we even get into the diet… this was based on a 2000 calorie p/day diet… that huge number of calories represents a very small percentage of the population… the rest of the diet is ridiculous at best. This is why there is so much confusion out there about healthy eating practices. Doesn’t it make you wonder about the eating habits (and associated health) of the people who created this so called diet? Take care all… and continue questioning the things that don’t make sense.
Hello, Kelly! Thank you for writing that post. I agree that more whole grains and vegetables would make anyone’s diet more healthful My father-in-law recently went to the doctor and they made him take a cholesterol test. It came back normal (where it had previously been high). He told the doctor he hadn’t changed anything…still ate sausage and butter and all the things he had always eaten, except that they have been making wholemeal bread instead of eating the store-bought stuff. That made all the difference.