First of all, just what is the DASH Diet? The healthy DASH diet plan was developed to lower blood pressure without medication in research sponsored by the US National Institutes of Health, Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH).
The DASH diet emphasizes the eating of fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, poultry, fish, and low-fat dairy products while reducing consumption of salt, red meat, sweets and sugar-sweetened beverages. It is similar to the Mediterranean diet but differs in recommending low-fat dairy products and excluding alcoholic beverages.
A diet proven to have beneficial effects on high blood pressure also may reduce the risk of heart failure in people under age 75, according to a study led by researchers at Wake Forest School of Medicine, part of Wake Forest Baptist Health.
The observational study of more than 4,500 people showed that those individuals under 75 who most closely adhered to the DASH Diet had a significantly lower risk of developing heart failure than those whose eating habits were least in keeping with the diet.
The research is published in the current online issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Continue reading
Eating a diet that emphasizes vegetables, fruit and whole grains it may lead to a reduced risk of depression, according to a study by researchers at Rush University Medical Center.
Study author Dr. Laurel Cherian will present a preliminary study abstract with these conclusions during the American Academy of Neurology’s 70th Annual Meeting in Los Angeles from April 21 to 27, 2018.
Study participants who closely adhered to a diet similar to the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet were less likely to develop depression than people who did not closely follow the diet. The DASH diet recommends fruits and vegetables and fat-free or low-fat dairy products and limits foods that are high in saturated fats and sugar.
“Depression is common in older adults and more frequent in people with memory problems, vascular risk factors such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol, or people who have had a stroke,” said Cherian, a vascular neurologist and assistant professor in Rush’s Department of Neurological Sciences. “There is evidence linking healthy lifestyle changes to lower rates of depression and this study sought to examine the role that diet plays in preventing depression.”.”
The National Institutes of Aging-funded study evaluated a total of 964 participants of the Rush Memory and Aging Project with an average age of 81 annually for approximately six-and-a-half years. Each participant was monitored for symptoms of depression and filled out questionnaires about how often they ate various foods. The researchers examined how closely the participants’ reported diets adhered diets such as the DASH diet, Mediterranean diet and the traditional Western diet, which is high in saturated fats and red meats and low in fruits and vegetables.
The researchers categorized participants in three groups based on how closely they adhered to these diets. Those who were in the two groups that followed the DASH diet more closely were 11 percent less likely to develop depression than people in the group that did not follow the diet closely. Conversely, the researchers found that the more closely people followed a Western diet, the more likely they were to develop depression.
Cherian noted that the study does not prove that the DASH diet leads to a reduced risk of depression; it only shows an association.
People who ate a diet high in nuts and legumes, low-fat dairy, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables and low in red and processed meat, sugar-sweetened beverages and sodium were at a significantly lower risk of developing chronic kidney disease over the course of more than two decades, new Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health research suggests.
The diet, known as DASH for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, was designed to help reduce blood pressure, but research has shown it to be effective in preventing a series of other chronic illnesses including cardiovascular disease. The findings, published online in the American Journal of Kidney Diseases, suggest that kidney disease now can be added to that list.
“In addition to offering other health benefits, consuming a DASH-style diet could help reduce the risk of developing kidney disease,” says study leader Casey M. Rebholz, PhD, MPH, MS, an assistant professor in the Department of Epidemiology at the Bloomberg School. “The great thing about this finding is that we aren’t talking about a fad diet. This is something that many physicians already recommend to help prevent chronic disease.”
Researchers estimate kidney disease affects 10 percent of the U.S. population — more than 20 million people. Less than one in five who have it are aware that they do, however. (my emphasis)
It’s wonderful to learn that there can be further good effects to healthy eating. So, the latest announcement from the National Kidney Foundation was most welcome.
“A diet high in fruits, vegetables, legumes and nuts, moderate in low-fat dairy products, and low in animal proteins, refined grains and sweets may reduce risk for developing kidney stones, according to a new study published in the March issue of the National Kidney Foundation’s American Journal of Kidney Diseases. March is National Kidney Month and the National Kidney Foundation encourages people to learn about the kidneys and associated conditions, including kidney stones.
“Researchers found that compared with following a low-oxalate diet – the frequently prescribed diet for kidney stone prevention and treatment – a Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH)-style diet may be more effective at reducing urinary risk markers for calcium oxalate kidney stone formation, the most common type of kidney stone. Oxalate is naturally found in high levels in many foods with other nutritional value including: beets, navy beans, bulgur, kale, almonds, sweet potatoes, rice bran, rhubarb and spinach.
“According to the National Kidney Foundation, most kidney stones are formed when oxalate binds to calcium while urine is produced by the kidneys. Eating and drinking calcium and oxalate-rich foods together during a meal may be a better approach than limiting oxalate entirely. This is because oxalate and calcium are more likely to bind to one another in the stomach and intestines before the kidneys begin processing, making it less likely that kidney stones will form.
“Previous studies have recommended that those with kidney stones follow a low-oxalate diet to reduce one’s chances of forming another stone. However, many high oxalate foods are healthful and a low-oxalate diet can be very restrictive. The DASH diet reflects a more balanced diet and as a result may be easier and more realistic to follow long-term,” said Dr. Kerry Willis, Senior Vice President for Scientific Activities at the National Kidney Foundation.”