DASH Out of the Cave

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We’ve been hearing a lot of buzz about the paleo diet lately, and we decided to see how it would stack up against the DASH diet. The results were hardly surprising. The paleo diet included many more high-calorie, high-fat foods than the DASH diet. In fact, the paleo diet had tons of saturated fat with incredibly low levels of calcium. The DASH diet, on the other hand, was very balanced and included plenty of nutrients.

Principles of the DASH Diet

DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. It is a heart-healthy diet low in saturated fat, trans fat, and sodium, with a focus on fresh, whole foods like fruits, vegetables, grains, etc. It includes small levels of lean meats, fatty fish, and low-fat/nonfat dairy.

Principles of the Paleo Diet

The paleo diet calls for a return to early man’s eating habits, focusing on meat, certain vegetables, fish, nuts, and some fruit. People eating a paleo diet typically skip grains, vegetable oils, legumes, dairy products, refined sugars, and processed food. For example, instead of butter, many adherents to the paleo diet use coconut oil, etc.

Typical DASH Day

  • Breakfast: Oatmeal with skim milk, berries, and a banana
  • Lunch: Vegetarian chili with brown rice, a garden salad, and a small whole wheat pita
  • Dinner: Baked fish, spaghetti squash, brown rice, and steamed broccoli
  • Dessert: Fresh fruit and plain nonfat yogurt parfait

Typical Paleo Day

  • Breakfast: Berries in coconut milk
  • Lunch: Salad with chicken, tomatoes, and dressing
  • Dinner: Spaghetti squash with meat sauce
  • Dessert: Macadamia nuts

DASH vs Paleo

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