There are many and many different kinds of diets everywhere! But, you should recognize that good nutrition leads to good health, so you should search for a suitable balanced diet to follow. In this article, we will try to provide you with information about the Dash diet, the Mediterranean diet, and the unique combination of both diets, which is presented throughout The Dash Diet Mediterranean Solution book.

What is the Dash Diet?

Dash ( Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension), which is mainly developed to help patients with high blood pressure since high blood pressure is approved to be a major reason for many diseases, especially heart disease. The studies of the US National heart, lung, and Blood Institute have supported this dietary approach as a used way to control high blood pressure.((Managing Blood Pressure with a Heart-Healthy Diet | American Heart Association))

How does the Dash Diet work?

The Dash diet is a system that gives a variety of food options without deprivation. It depends on providing the body with healthy nutrients like magnesium, potassium, and calcium and limiting the amount of salt, which are all important for the overall health, and especially help regulate blood pressure. It encourages eating fresh fruits and vegetables without limit, whole grains for fiber and carbs, fish for protein and healthy fats, seeds, nuts, poultry, and dairy foods that do not contain fat or are low in fat.

The health benefits of the Dash Diet

  1. The most important aim of the Dash diet is to help in treating and regulating high blood pressure ((Dietary Approaches to Prevent Hypertension (
  2. According to studies, the Dash diet can help reduce the development of chronic kidney disease ((Tips to Tackling the DASH Diet | National Kidney Foundation))
  3. As we mentioned before, the Dash diet is an approved diet for regulating high blood pressure, which is one of the important reasons for heart disease, so it helps protect against heart disease as well ((Managing Blood Pressure with a Heart-Healthy Diet | American Heart Association))
  4. Lowering the risk of kidney disease by supporting kidney’s health ((DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) Diet and Risk of Subsequent Kidney Disease (
  5. It may help reduce the risk of some types of cancer ((Dietary approach to stop hypertension (DASH): diet components may be related to lower prevalence of different kinds of cancer: A review on the related documents (
  6. Promoting healthy digestion due to the daily fiber intake ((DASH Diet To Stop Hypertension – StatPearls – NCBI Bookshelf (
  7. It helps lose weight in general since the included foods contain fiber ((DASH Diet – an overview | ScienceDirect Topics)) and encourage reducing the high-fat foods and sugar ((DASH Eating Plan: An Eating Pattern for Diabetes Management (
  8. It helps lower the risk of cognitive decline ((The Mediterranean, Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH), and Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay (MIND) Diets Are Associated with Less Cognitive Decline and a Lower Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease—A Review (
  9. It helps control LDL cholesterol ((Comparison of the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet and a higher-fat DASH diet on blood pressure and lipids and lipoproteins: a randomized controlled trial (

What are the features of the Dash Diet?

  • It encourages eating plenty of fruits and vegetables
  • Eating dairy products that contain no fat or low fat
  • Limiting the consumption of salt
  • Eating fish, poultry in moderation
  • It depends on consuming foods that contain fiber, calcium, potassium, and magnesium
  • Eating small portions
  • Limiting the consumption of sugar

What foods are allowed in the Dash Diet?

  • Whole grains

Grains are considered a kind of carbohydrate, which provides the body with energy. Moreover, they are a good source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals 

Quinoa, farro, freekeh, and brown rice, pita bread, whole-grain bread, oatmeal, cereal, grits, air-popped popcorn, and bagel

  • Healthy fats

Extra-virgin olive oil, nuts, seeds, avocado, 

  • Vegetables

Vegetables are rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber as well, in addition, they don’t contain fat and they are low in calories

Kale, potatoes, spinach, sweet potatoes, squash, green beans, tomato, collard, carrots, green peas, broccoli, etc.

  • Fruits

Fruits provide a wide variety of vitamins and minerals, in addition to fiber. They also contain low calories and fat

Raisins, mango, melon, grapefruit, peach, apples, bananas, dates, oranges, strawberries, etc.

  • Dairy products that are fat-free or low in fat

Dairy products provide the body with calcium, which promotes bone and tooth health

Fat-free milk, low-fat milk, fat-free cheeses, low-fat cheese, yogurt

  • Fish, poultry, lean protein

Fish and poultry provide the body with protein and healthy nutrients

  • Legumes and Lentils
  • Nuts and seeds

They contain healthy fats, protein, and fiber, In addition to potassium and magnesium

Sunflower seeds, walnuts, mixed nuts, almonds, and peanuts

What foods should be limited in the Dash Diet?

  • Foods that contain a high amount of salts like the processed foods and restaurant foods
  • Sugary beverages
  • Sugar and sweets
  • Plenty of alcohol
  • Red meats
  • Foods that contain high saturated fats

The Mediterranean Diet

It’s a healthy way of eating real foods which are available in the Mediterranean area. Vegetables, fruits, healthy fats, and whole grains are the basis of this healthy diet.

How does the Mediterranean Diet work?

The Med diet supports adopting healthy eating habits. The idea of this diet is simple, just eat without limit vegetables and fruits to get fiber, minerals, and vitamins. Eat healthy fats instead of unhealthy ones, which support heart health. The carbs from whole grains provide the body with fiber and many nutrients. And limiting the sugar intake, which is just empty calories. Finally, you can notice that it’s a balanced diet by incorporating a wide variety of healthy foods without causing deprivation.

The health benefits of the Mediterranean Diet

The Mediterranean Diet foods

  • Fruits such as:

Pears, bananas, lemons, apples, oranges, figs, dates, peaches, pomegranate, etc. …

  • Vegetables such as:

Kale, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, eggplant, onions, zucchini, cucumbers, cabbage, fennel, leeks, asparagus, etc. …

  • Fish and seafood are considered excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids and protein as well such as:

Salmon, tuna, sardines, trout, shrimp, crab, mussels, clams, etc. …

  • Legumes are important sources of many nutrients such as:

Chickpeas, lentils, peas, beans, etc. …

  • Whole grains are good sources of carbs and fiber such as:

Brown rice, barley, corn, whole-grain bread, etc. …

  • Healthy fats are considered an important component in the Med diet. and extra-virgin olive oil is considered the primary fat source
  • Seeds and nuts such as:

Hazelnuts, walnuts, cashews, pine nuts, sunflower seeds, etc. …

Red meats and sugar should be limited. And highly processed foods should be avoided

The differences between the Dash diet and the Mediterranean diet:

  • In the Mediterranean diet, fish is recommended to be eaten more than in the Dash diet
  • The Dash diet supports eating more dairy than the Med diet
  • In the Med diet, eating red meats is limited, while in the Dash diet, red meats are allowed
  • The Med diet is based on  eating less dairy 
  • The Mediterranean diet focuses on the rich omega-3 fatty acids foods more than the Dash diet

The similarities between the Dash diet and the Mediterranean diet

  • Both diets encourage avoiding processed foods and less sugar
  • Both of them support eating healthy fats
  • Both of them incorporate fruits and vegetables with no limit
  • The Med and the Dash diet encourage eating whole grains

The Dash Diet Mediterranean Solution

Now, we will talk about a new dietary approach, which was developed by Marla Heller, the writer of the Dash Diet Mediterranean Solution book, in which she presented a great combination of the two diets, which are both approved to be the best for health among the diets around the world. And combining both of them offers tons of health benefits. This interesting approach is balanced, easy, and healthy. This combination covers the two perennial best diets, the Dash diet, and the Med diet.

What is the Dash Diet Mediterranean Solution?

According to the title of the book, it’s called a solution, in which the author couples the Dash diet with the super-healthy Med way of eating. This approach emphasizes eating healthy real foods and controlling the portion size which varies according to age, gender, and activity level. Moreover, it supports eating more lean protein to decrease the feeling of hunger, fruits, and vegetables and reducing sugar and salt. What makes it special is that it includes dark chocolate and wine. Losing weight needs learning to eat less and move more.

The foods that are allowed in the Dash Diet Mediterranean Solution

  • Vegetables

Especially the green leafy vegetables such as lettuce, kale, spinach, and collards

Other vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli, potatoes, carrots, asparagus, cauliflower, etc. …

  • Fruits

Eat plenty of fruits, and use them as snacks such as berries, strawberries, melon, oranges, bananas, apples, etc. …

  • Fish and seafood

Fish are an important source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids such as sardines, salmon, tuna etc. …

  • Healthy fats

They are important components in this diet that come from extra-virgin olive oil, avocado, fatty fish, seeds, and nuts

  • Dairy products

Low-fat and non-fat dairy products such as milk, cheese, yogurt

  • Poultry and eggs

They are good sources of protein

  • Herbs and spices, which add flavor to the foods to reduce the amount of added salt
  • The Dash Diet Mediterranean Solution encourages eating  dark chocolate and drinking wine in moderation

What should be avoided in the Dash Diet Mediterranean Solution

  • The most important thing that should be limited is salt in all foods
  • Sugar also should be limited
  • Processed foods should be avoided
  • Saturated fats and oils
  • High-fat dairy products
  • Refined grains
  • Sugary beverages

Common Questions

  • Is drinking alcohol allowed in the Dash Diet Mediterranean Solution plan?

In general. Alcohol increases blood pressure, so it’s recommended to drink red wine in moderation. Women can drink one glass a day while men can drink 2.

  • Which diet is better for weight loss, the Dash diet or the Med diet?

Both diets are beneficial for weight loss, but it takes time to get the results you want. Because both diets depend on the idea of being healthy eating habits without deprivation.

  • Is it recommended to exercise in the Dash diet and Med diet?

Of course, physical activities are important in any diet. Regular exercising is an excellent way to lose weight and stay healthy.

The health benefits of the Dash Diet Mediterranean Solution plan

  • The high content of healthy fats provide support to the heart against heart disease
  • The foods that are included contain anti-inflammatory properties, which help reduce systemic inflammation
  • Regulating and preventing blood pressure
  • Controlling blood sugar
  • Decreasing cholesterol levels
  • Decreasing the risk of cognitive decline and improves the mental health

Last words

What about moving on to a plan in which you enjoy eating delicious food while getting tons of health benefits and losing weight as well! I hope that you have enjoyed reading the article and getting the answers to your questions about The Dash Diet Mediterranean Solution plan. But, always remember to keep active.

Sophia Alex
I have been a Registered Dietitian for over 11 years, working in many different capacities. The majority of my experience has been working as an outpatient dietitian. I have had a lot of experience in the areas of research, general wellness, weight loss, oncology, CKD/renal failure, celiac disease, diabetes (I and II) and gastrointestinal concerns.


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