Thursday, January 5, 2012

Dash Diet

Dash Diet Review

Well, it’s official so it must be true.  On January 4, 2012 the Los Angeles Times reported that:

The DASH diet took the No. 1 spot in best overall diet in the U.S. News and World Report's Best Diets 2012, which also rates other popular diets in various categories.

That diet plan also took top ranking as the best diet for healthy eating and the best diabetes diet (tied with the Biggest Loser diet).  The DASH diet (it stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) may also help lower cholesterol, as it’s big on whole grains, fruits, vegetables and lean proteins -- not a bad program for a number of people.

Of course it wasn’t just the LA Times reporting this.  Most of the nation’s media outlets heralded the news as ground breaking and oh, so good.

What makes the Dash Diet so special?  Well the Mayo Clinic loves it and here’s an abbreviated version of it’s take on the Dash Diet.  

Dash Diet Servings for a 2,000 Calorie Daily Diet

Grains and grain products 7 to 8 servings per day (include at least 3 whole grain foods each day).  Grains include bread, cereal, rice, and pasta.  Examples of one serving of grains include 1 slice whole-wheat bread, 1 ounce (oz.) dry cereal, or ½ cup cooked cereal, rice or pasta.
Fruits 4 to 5 servings per day.  Many fruits need little preparation to become a healthy part of a meal or snack.  Like vegetables, they're packed with fiber, potassium and magnesium and are typically low in fat — exceptions include avocados and coconuts.  Examples of one serving include 1 medium fruit or ½ cup fresh, frozen, or canned fruit.

Vegetables 4 to 5 servings per day.  Tomatoes, carrots, broccoli, sweet potatoes, greens, and other vegetables are full of fiber, vitamins, and such minerals as potassium and magnesium.  Examples of one serving include 1 cup raw leafy green vegetables or ½ cup cut-up raw or cooked vegetables.

Low fat or non fat dairy foods 2 to 3 servings per day.  Milk, yogurt, cheese and other dairy products are major sources of calcium, vitamin D and protein.  But the key is to make sure that you choose dairy products that are low-fat or fat-free because otherwise they can be a major source of fat.  Examples of one serving include 1 cup skim or 1% milk, 1 cup yogurt or 1 ½ oz. cheese.

Lean meats, fish, poultry 2 or less servings per day.  Meat can be a rich source of protein, B vitamins, iron and zinc.  But because even lean varieties contain fat and cholesterol, don't make them a mainstay of your diet — cut back typical meat portions by one-third or one-half and pile on the vegetables instead.  Examples of one serving include 1 oz. cooked skinless poultry, seafood or lean meat, 1 egg, or 1 oz. water-packed, no-salt-added canned tuna.  Eat heart-healthy fish, such as salmon, herring and tuna. These types of fish are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which can help lower your total cholesterol.

Nuts, seeds, and legumes 4 to 5 servings per week.  Almonds, sunflower seeds, kidney beans, peas, lentils and other foods in this family are good.  Serving sizes are small and are intended to be consumed weekly.  Examples of one serving include 1/3 cup (1 ½ oz.) nuts, 2 tablespoons seeds or ½ cup cooked beans or peas.  Nuts sometimes get a bad rap because of their fat content, but they contain healthy types of fat — monounsaturated fat and omega-3 fatty acids.  They're high in calories, however, so eat them in moderation.

Fats and sweets 2 to 3 servings per day.  Too much fat increases your risk of heart disease, diabetes and obesity.  The DASH diet strives for a healthy balance by providing 30 percent or less of daily calories from fat, with a focus on the healthier unsaturated fats.  Examples of one serving include 1 teaspoon soft margarine, 1 tablespoon low-fat mayonnaise, or 2 tablespoons light salad dressing.  Go easy on sweets.  Examples of one serving include 1 tablespoon sugar, jelly, or jam, ½ cup sorbet, or 1 cup (8 oz.) lemonade.

The Dash Diet is the same as the USDA recommended diets for whatever.  It’s the same as nearly every diet published in every Sunday Supplement, the Reader’s Digest, AARP Magazine, and all other claptrap publications that specialize in feel good dietary verbiage to sell advertising.  It’s the same diet medical professionals talk about while they go about prescribing drugs and operations because they know their dietary recommendations will not heal their patients.  It’s the same diet that is already killing a couple million Americans each year.  It’s the same diet that is slowly destroying the health of about 300,000,000 additional Americans.  It is the same diet that is bankrupting the nation with soaring health care costs.

The Dash Diet’s emphasis is on low fat (because it makes you fat), high omega-6 foods, and high glycemic foods.  Therefore in no way can the Dash Diet balance the essential fatty acids (omega-6 to omega-3 balance of one to one).  It does not recognize that grass-fed meats even exist.  It considers a daily ration of meat (even it is all fish) to be two ounces or less while a daily ration of grains should be greater than four times as much!  It does not recognize the damage even small doses of high glycemic foods have on animal body function.

The Dash Diet is the same diet (under a different name) my mother followed religiously commencing over 40 years ago.  With her diet she continued to suffer with one chronic disease after another while being under the constant care of multiple doctors who treated her with drugs and operations.  Finally she died with multiple health problems including an acute case of Alzheimer's disease.

Who is it that expects a different outcome when doing the same thing?  You already know.  It’s nearly everyone around you.  It takes considerable internal fortitude to step back from the common knowledge of the masses and march to the beat of a different drummer.  For those who are new to The Real Diet of Man, please check it out.  Then you will better understand this commentary and why I am so appalled by the media’s enthusiasm for the dangerous Dash Diet.

Do some study and learn why, for optimizing my health, I want fat, especially animal fats, and why I want lots of grass-fed meats including fish in my daily diet.  Then second in line I want good vegetables (not all of them are alike).  Following that is fruit sparingly, nuts rarely.  Milk is totally unnecessary.  All high glycemic foods should be avoided totally.  For more about which foods are fit to eat, check out Food Analysis:  GI, GL, Fat Ratio, and Inflammation.


  1. Wow what a great post.I love it.

    Thanks for more sharing.......

    Laith Salma

  2. I stumbled across your websit while researching health benefits of Omega 3's for a Nutrition class paper. I am so glad I found it! The article you blogged about perfectly replicates the dietary recommendations in my Nutrition book! I have believed firmly in the benefits of healthy fats for years, going against the grain of popular medicine and resultant media. Unfortunately, our nutrition book also promotes whole grains first, at every opportunity, even more than vegetables and fruits, advocates a fat-free and low-fat diet, and promotes polyunsaturated fats to the exclustion of saturated fats. Hence, an inbalance of Omega 6's to Omega 3's (as well as many other problems!), as you write about. I recently learned that grass-fed beef is a wonderful source for these health-promoting Omega 3's, and have pushed my local grocery stores to begin stocking some! However, they are still hard to find, which is amazing to me as I also live in the great state of Texas. It is as if we are ignoring a great resource - grass fed beef! - in our own back yard! Anyway, I have earmarked your website to check in again for moren information on nutritio, and will send it along to my friends. Thank you so much for your work!

  3. Maybe you missed it, but on the right panel of this blog are links to the best grass-fed meat store in the USA.

    Don't expect your local grocer to stock a "different" meat that is not understood. He's making too much money selling that which is easy to sell. The consumer is not interested in change. The consumer wants the same foods but different results.

    As for grass-fed meats being a wonderful source of Omega-3s, that's not quite correct. Grass-fed meats just provide a perfect balance of the EFAs and all the other nutrients needed by man for optimal health. That means for grass-fed meats to be beneficial the rest of the diet must be balanced too. Grass-fed meats cannot compensate for the damage that is caused if one continues to eat foods that are improper foods for man. There's no halfway mark in proper nutrition.

  4. Here's a question on doing the math using your Food Analysis: GI, GL, Fat Ratio, and Inflammation table. Let's take my standard oatmeal breakfast:
    1.25 oz oatmeal (dry weight before cooking in water) yields 849mg Omega-6 (679mg/oz x 1.25) and 39mg Omega-3 (31.1mg/oz x 1.25). 1.5oz Strawberries yields 105mg O-6 and 53mg O-3. 1oz Blackberries yields 52mg O-6 and 26mg O-3. 1oz Blueberries yields 25mg O-6 and 16mg O-3. 1 tablespoon milled flax seed yields 311mg O-6 and 1,200mg O-3. 6oz plain greek yogurt yields 109mg O-6 and 46mg O-3. Total all of this up, and you have 1,450mg O-6 and 1,380mg O-3. This would appear to be a fairly good approximation of the 1-1 ratio you recommend. Do you agree with this?

    I recognize that this is not the "real diet of man", but I'm trying to do an exercise in calculation.

    Final question: how to calculate using your Inflammation index column - what portion size is this column based on, cups as in the GL column, or 1 oz as in the O-6/O-3 columns? For example, if 1oz of oatmeal has an inflammation index of -410, then my 1.25oz serving is you agree with this calculation?

    1. Your calculation is correct as far as O6 to O3 totals and ratio. BUT, the overall nutrient stream does not have the green leaf as a base. Therefore it is deficient in many nutrients and is also on the high glycemic end of the spectrum. Consequently it is not The Real Diet of Man even though you've balanced some of the EFAs.

      The grain part of your diet is a fungal issue from the get go. Grains are universally contaminated with fungi and their mycotoxins. Grains are high glycemic and that also feeds fungi that lives in your body and fed fungi put out mycotoxins. This is why I never eat grain. (This can be said of fruit to a degree too.)

      Man needs the total compliment of elements and compounds for optimal health that he has always gotten throughout time. Supplying some elements and not all elements leads to body failure. This is why it is important to keep the green leaf at the bottom of your food chain via animals or the plants themselves.

    2. Thanks, I appreciate you affirming the way I'm doing the math, and recognize that the example chosen is nowhere near the diet you recommend. I wanted to confirm that I understood the rules for calculation, and now I can go about figuring out where our current diet stands. By comparison to most of our peers and generally accepted standards, we have an "extremely healthy diet", but as you point out, in comparison to the Real Diet, we are heavy on fruits and dairy, and do use some grain. The biggest challenge will be getting rid of grain-fed chicken and pork, as about half of the meat we eat falls into that category, with the rest being grass-fed beef and wild salmon or trout. Thanks for your advice and sharing the knowledge!

    3. Your last concern is the easiest to solve. Try this outfit. :-)

    4. LOL...yes, I see your point!