Two diets are making headlines this week, just as our New Year’s resolutions are kicking in: the DASH diet and the Mediterranean diet. Although the two diets are similar, there some differences.
The US News and World Report has named the DASH diet as the best overall diet of the year– it’s a plant based diet with an emphasis on nuts, legumes, fruits and vegetables. Studies funded by the National Institutes of Health have proven that the DASH diet can lower blood pressure. It’s been endorsed by:
- The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute
- The American Heart Association
- US Guidelines for the Treatment of High Blood Pressure
- Mayo Clinic
Although low fat meats, poultry and fish are “allowed,” servings are limited to two per week; low fat and nonfat dairy is also allowed but limited.
A new study published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine has shown that the Mediterranean diet reduces Type 2 diabetes risk by 1/3 when compared with a low-fat diet.
The biggest difference between the DASH diet and the Mediterranean diet can be summed up in four words: “Extra-Virgin Olive Oil,” or EVOO. While the Mediterranean diet also emphasizes fruits, vegetables and nuts, it also is relatively high in fat (30% -40% of total calories), as long as those fat calories come from olive oil. Additionally, the Mediterranean diet is rich in tomatoes, garlic, onions and other spices. Moderate wine consumption is also part of the eating plan.
To put it simply, the Mediterranean diet could be summed up as the DASH diet with more than just a dash of olive oil ( I just couldn’t resist)!