Saturday, May 19, 2012

The Dash Diet - My first 2 month Experience

My  2 months experience with the DASH diet . My 3 month trial period is about to expire and I will need to decide about my renewal.

Am I really following the DASH diet ?  " Kind of "

My excuse;
   I really want to blame my wife because she never really accepted the idea of the extra effort that would be required by her. I liked the idea of the shopping list and the exact menu to follow. We did go shopping one time but I cannot recall seeing any of meals as presented on the menu.
It is not really all her fault because have a pet peave about diets made up by dietitians that will include unusual foods that require special purchase and is used only one time during the week and then  leftovers rot in the refrigerator.

Patient -Centered care
I still believe the best diet is one that is made by you and a dietitian using your written food diary and then adjusted by you and the dietitian to best meet  your specific medical needs. This approach is not a one shot fix all deal. Individualizing patent care is hard work that requires multiple visit with your dietitian and  physician. I have had the good fortune to have always had outstanding dietitians working with my patients.

The part that  I like best about the DASH diet
I have been a fan of the Mediterranean style diet for years. I believe the Dash diet is one of the variations of the Mediterranean diet ideas. The one thing that initially got my attention was the "Daily Serving Goals". I liked this idea because it is simple and would best fit my eating habits and life style. Even with this simple approach their are some rough spots that still require attention and measurement.
Portion size and daily consistency requires  require almost daily thought. 
The easy part for me is 4 fruit servings, hand a full of nuts and dairy. I eat very little meat and try to make up for that with beans. I like 4 bean salad that I can buy in a jar.  I am still struggling with getting 7 grains and 4 vegetable in my diet each day. I am using a can of V8 juice to work down my vegetable requirement. Changing food habits is alway a work in progress.

Daily Serving Goals
I think this is the best part of the diet. 
This is the take home message that I can remember and apply most of the time . I chose an 1800 calorie diet because my initial goal is to weigh 178 to 180 pounds.

                                                  My serving goals:

fruit    vegetables    dairy    grains    meat/ fish/poultry     nuts/beans      fats      sweets
  4            4                 3             7                  1.5                         0. 5              2            0.5    

I am going to continue using the concepts of this diet and my wife and me are going to start working their actual diet plan into our daily routine. I believe this will help with my grain and vegetable deficiency.

Have fun, Be smart , changing food habits is a life time project
David Calder, MD

PS - Watch my  Diabetes Office Video .  It is focus on Patient - Centered  Care.  I think the goal setting and risk management sections may help in reducing your risk of heart disease.  Thanks


  1. Dr Calder,

    Perhaps you might find the DASH diet easier, if you read The DASH Diet Action Plan. It was design to make the DASH diet easy to follow. And our readers agree. If it doesn't fit into a real life, no one will be able to follow the plan.

  2. Thanks for the hint . I will give it a try. David Calder,MD


Your comments and questions are appreciated. David Calder,MD