DASH Diet Weight Loss & Maintenance

Diet Differences

This article discusses what I experienced in following a low sodium DASH diet. Due to hypertension, I have followed the lowest sodium version of the diet at 1500 mg per day max since June 2009.   Before DASH, I used to have terrible bloating, sometimes so bad I couldn’t do up my pants.  This even happened at work, but it was the most painful at night.  I thought there was nothing I could do about it, but suffer with it.

When I started a low sodium DASH diet, all of that terrible pain and bloating went away very quickly!! It has never returned, along with the hypertension that was eliminated with the diet and the 90 pound large weight loss.

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A wonderful video I wanted to share about the MIND diet, which is a hybrid of the DASH and Mediterranean diets!!  It was developed to help prevent Alzheimer’s disease.  I have followed a hybrid of the DASH and Mediterranean diets, since June 2009!  As of this June it will be 10 years!   I made many changes since, including a switch to drinking red wine over white, which at the time I did not care for.  Now I far prefer red wine over white.
I was only instructed to follow the DASH diet by my Doctor back in 2009 for my hypertension, but I modified it, because both my mother and grandmother had Alzheimer’s disease. My grandmother who has now passed away, did not get it until later in her life, but my Mother, unfortunately, got the disease very early in life. She required hospitalization and full nursing care by age 70.  I figure if a hybrid MIND diet helps me avoid or even only develop the disease much much later in my life, then it will be worth it.

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I eat a combination of the low sodium DASH diet (max 1500 mg sodium per day) and mediterranean diet and have been doing so since the spring of 2009.  I started following the diet after my blood pressure hit 170/90 and my Doctor insisted I take action. He gave me 3 options, blood pressure meds, get on the list for weight loss surgery or DASH with large weight loss.  Fortunately the DASH diet worked to help me lose 90 pounds in 18 months and I will have maintained it for 8 years, come summer 2019.

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The DASH diet wins second best diet this year.  This is the first year since I started following the DASH diet in 2009, that it has not won the very best diet ranking.  This year it ranks just behind the Mediterranean diet, which I also follow. I still use the DASH diet as my overall framework and do not exceed 1500 mg of sodium per day.  I just default to mediterranean food choices like nuts, fish, etc as possible.

I adhere to a hybrid of the two diets; given the Mediterranean diet is particularly good for brain health.  I need lots of help in that area, as not only am a prone to high blood pressure, which the DASH diet controls for me, but also diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia that run deeply within my family tree.

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These are all foods I eat often as part of the DASH diet.  The MIND diet is a hybrid of the DASH and Mediterranean diet.  I pay particular attention to these foods because alzheimers disease runs badly in my family. My mother is currently very ill with this disease and my grandmother had it as well.

I began following the DASH diet in June of 2009 at the recommendation of my Doctor to reduce my blood pressure, because I was at that time hypertensive.  Fortunately, I was able to eliminate the hypertension without blood pressure drugs, using only the DASH diet, weight loss (lost 90 pounds with DASH) and exericse.

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I pretty much gave up juice back in June 2009 as part of my switch to the DASH diet to try to lose weight, and reduce my blood pressure.  Back then I was still hypertensive and desperate to make changes that would help me avoid medication and/or weight loss surgery.

Eight years later, we still don’t keep juice in the house, unless we have house guests coming. Now I eat the whole fruit/veggie and water instead and I aim for 8-10 servings a day. Orange juice used to be an everyday drink for me, sometimes 2-3 times a day, but to be honest I have not missed it much at all since I gave it up.  I already didn’t care much for pop anymore, so fortunately, I never had to worry about that piece at all.

In adopting DASH, some changes were harder to make than I thought they would be, like wringing the salt out of my diet while others, like ditching juice, seemed really easy.

 

 

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When the Doctor gave me the DASH diet back in spring 2009, he said that it was my last hope as far as hypertension control was concerned.  I dreaded taking the diet home because it was clear that it would likely require both my husband and I to follow it if it was to work.  When I got home and explained what the Doctor said, he immediately understood, “this means I would have to follow the diet too,” I said, “yes, it would probably be much easier to manage meals that way.” I was crying as I was speaking at that point because I thought it was a hopeless situation.  Then he said said what I thought he would never say,  “OK I will follow it too.”

He reasoned we didn’t have enough time or money to cook and buy food for two people with two different diets.  I was so happy with this easy, positive, agreement to this major lifestyle change, that I think I fell in love even more with him, if that could is possible.   He is the best and still is!

I asked if he would introduce himself to you on this website and explain why he follows the diet.  He will be sharing some of his DASH recipes with readers and periodically, ideas and thoughts about what it is like to follow a low sodium, DASH diet for almost 7 years, from a male perspective.

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