Mediterranean vs. DASH Diet

Updated: Jul 15

By Viviana Resendez

In comparing the Mediterranean and DASH diet you find many more similarities than differences because the DASH diet is considered to be the Americanized version of the Mediterranean diet.

Both are based on the eating patterns of long-lived people on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. Both contain a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, dairy, lean meats, fish and poultry; nuts and beans. Both are high in fiber and low to moderate in fat.

The DASH diet follows US guidelines for sodium content and this is believed to be of benefit for those who have hypertension.

We applaud the use of whole foods in both diets and the avoidance of added sugars, processed meat, refined grains, refined oils and other highly processed foods.

Where the Beyond Practice community differs in its content recommendations from the DASH and Mediterranean diet is in the acceptance of a higher fat diet and putting more of an emphasis on extra virgin olive oil, avocados, and eggs. This comes from a revised understanding of dietary cholesterol and literature that healthy fats support a healthy cholesterol profile.

The simplest example is found in the comparison of eating whole eggs vs. the cholesterol-free version. Incorporating daily whole egg intake provided improvements in the atherogenic lipoprotein profile and in insulin resistance in individuals with Metabolic syndrome vs. yolk free substitute.

Lastly, we recognize that sodium is a nutrient that is required for fluid balance, cardiovascular health, and neurological processes. We know it plays less of a role in hypertension than insulin resistance and low potassium diets so we approach this condition with a different strategy.

What about beverages?

We agree that enjoying an occasional glass of red wine is optional, green or black tea are great, and coffee is a more nuanced beverage that deserves a post of its own.

Want help with losing weight or beating your medical conditions, such as Hypertension and Type 2 Diabetes? Contact our team at Beyond Practice and we’ll help you get started and keep you accountable on your journey to a healthier lifestyle.

References and Further Reading:

  • Blesso CN, Andersen CJ, Barona J, Volek JS, Fernandez ML. Whole egg consumption improves lipoprotein profiles and insulin sensitivity to a greater extent than yolk-free egg substitute in individuals with metabolic syndrome. Metabolism. 2013;62(3):400-410. doi:10.1016/j.metabol.2012.08.014

  • The DASH Diet Mediterranean Solution: The Best Eating Plan to Control Your Weight and Improve Your Health for Life (Book by Marla Heller)

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