Dash Diet vs Mediterranean Diet

Some time ago, Dash Diet and Mediterranean Diet were rated as the best choices for people who want to improve their health and well-being. As the effect, dieters and fitness enthusiasts get interested and want to find out more about these diets. So, what are the differences between Dash Diet vs Mediterranean Diet? Which one is better?

In this article, you can find out more about:
– What Dash Diet is,
– What Mediterranean Diet is,
– The similarities of the two diets,
– The differences between Dash Diet vs Mediterranean Diet, and
– Which diet that is more recommended for you.

What is the Dash Diet?
According to WebMD, “Dash” actually stands for “Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension”. The name is quite self-explanatory. It was initially designed for patients who have high blood pressures. It is based on high intake of fruits and vegetables, nuts, whole grains, legumes, and low-fat or non-fat dairy products. Sometimes, lean read meat, fish, and poultry may be consumed. See also: Optavia vs Ideal Protein.

The diet is high in fiber, calcium, potassium, and magnesium while being low in fat. It provides about 30% of the daily recommended calories from unsaturated fat. There are actually two versions of Dash Diet, the first one allows 2300mg sodium intake and is endorsed by the American dietary guideline, while the second one only allows 1500 mg sodium intake for hypertension or pre-hypertension.

What is the Mediterranean Diet?
Mediterranean Diet is based on the healthy eating habits traditionally seen among people in the Mediterranean coast, such as in Greece, Italy, and Spain. It involves high intake of fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, legumes. It recommends fish as the primary source of protein and cardiac-protective omega-3 fatty acids.

Mediterranean Diet promotes moderate to high intake of unsaturated fat, especially from olive oil. Low-fat dairy products and red wine are consumed in moderation. Finally, saturated fat sources such as red meat are limited.

The Differences
The first difference is the sodium intake. Dash Diet explicitly describes how much sodium that you can take in a day. This is very useful for people who want to lose weight and those who have to limit their sodium intake. Meanwhile, Mediterranean Diet does not have any specific sodium limit. While it is a low-sodium diet in general, it tends to have higher sodium than Dash Diet.

Dash Diet has lower fat intake. Mediterranean Diet tends to have higher cholesterol-lowering unsaturated fat due to the use of olive oil. As the effect, Mediterranean Diet can give positive benefits for the heart. It can reduce the risk of heart disease.

Third, Dash Diet allows red meat and dairy products. Hence, Dash Diet may have higher calcium intake. On the other hand, Mediterranean Diet limits red meat and dairy products. It tends to have lower calcium intake, but the cholesterol levels are also lower.

Finally, Dash Diet does not require a specific alcohol. Dash Diet simply allows normal alcohol consumption as suggested by the American healthy guidelines. On the other hand, Mediterranean Diet promotes red wine, which is rich in antioxidants.

Dash Diet vs Mediterranean Diet

Dash DietMediterranean Diet
- Explicit sodium limit- Generally low sodium, but has no sodium limit
- Lower fat intake- Higher unsaturated fat from olive oil
- Allows red meat and dairy products- Restricted red meat and dairy products
- Allows normal alcohol consumption- Promotes red wine
- Suitable for people with high blood pressure and weight loss- The diet aims to minimal food ingestion

Conclusion
Both Dash Diet and Mediterranean Diet are healthy diets with fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, and legumes. Dash Diet is better for those who have high blood pressure and those who want to lose weight, due to the lower sodium. Mediterranean Diet is great for general diet, as it can prevent heart disease.