DASH Diet Weight Loss & Maintenance

Diet Differences

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.


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.


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.




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.


bacon-featureThe WHO & International Agency for Research on Cancer, have released studies showing links between processed meat and colorectal cancer. I stopped eating processed meat including deli meats, hot dogs, bacon sausage, etc back in June 2009 after my Doctor prescribed the DASH diet.  Processed meats are really too high in salt to be part of a low sodium DASH diet.

I still eat meat including red meat though, although with red meat, never more than twice per week.  I did notice that within a week of doing away with high salt foods, including processed meats, my stomach and gastrolintestinal problems receded, never to return as have continued to follow a low sodium (1500mg/day) DASH diet.  I am not at all surprised to see a link between cancer and high sodium foods like processed meats given the pain they used to cause for me.


Food_swaps_v02Wonderful food swap ideas from Jamie Oliver! Besides spices, balsamics, vinegars, garlic, maple syrup and mustards to marinate and flavour food, we also use cheese. Cheese has a salty flavour.  Likely because it is usually high in sodium already (some swiss cheeses are low), reducing the need to add extra salt, particularly when you use really strong flavoured cheeses like feta and strong cheddar.