DASH Diet Prevents Cardiac Issues in Women

A diet that the government recommends, called the DASH Diet, has proven through a 25-year study that they might actually know what they are talking about!

The purpose of the DASH eating plan is to help women keep their blood pressure lowered and can save them from heart attack and stroke.

Researchers followed more than 88,000 healthy women for almost 25 years. They examined their food choices and looked at how many had heart attacks and strokes. Those who fared best had eating habits similar to those recommended by the government to stop high blood pressure.

The DASH diet favors fruits, vegetables, whole grains, milk (low-fat), and plant based proteins instead of meat.  Women who followed the DASH eating plan, or one that closely resembled it, compared to those who followed a typical American diet were 24% less likely to have a heart attack and 18% less likely to have a stroke.


Example of the DASH Diet

The choices listed below are similar to the government’s DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension).

1.  More than eight total servings of fruits and vegetables daily. A serving is a half-cup of cooked vegetables or one cup raw, or a small piece of fruit.

2.  One total serving daily of nuts and legumes, about a handful of peanuts or a half-cup legumes, including lentils, kidney beans and split peas.

3.  At least two servings daily of whole grains. A serving is a slice of whole-grain bread or a half-cup cooked whole-grain pasta or rice, or about a cup of dry cereal.

4.   Almost two daily servings of low-fat dairy products. A serving equals eight ounces of milk or one cup of yogurt.

5.  A half serving daily of red or processed meats, including bacon and hot dogs. A full serving is about the size of a deck of cards. (The DASH diet does not recommend those high-fat meats. It calls for no more than two servings daily of lean meat, fish or poultry.)