You may have seen the recent news report that the DASH diet may reduce the risk of developing depression, especially in older adults. While I’m not of fan of “diets” I am a fan of eating intentionally to meet personal health goals.
The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet was developed and studied by the NIH and has been around since the late 90’s. In comparison to other trendy and fad diets, this eating plan continues to rank high on lists for health improvement and disease reduction. Its basic components consist of eating food groups nutritionist have been touting for years, fruits and vegetables and dairy products.
But here is what I like about it. I can “count up” vs. “count down” for many of the foods I eat daily. Counting down, or restricting certain foods, can lead to feelings of deprivation and the potential for nutrient deficiency. Counting up let’s me plan for what I get to eat next and supports food decisions that may lead to better health. And, because I’m counting up in fruits and vegetables, the health benefits outweigh any concern for overeating. I have yet to see a study that links excessive intake of fruits and vegetables to weight gain. Eating more fruits and vegetables is a tried and true, not to mention evidence based practice, that I can support and encourage others to try.
This study represents yet again, that what we eat may affect our mental health, mood and quality of life.
If you read the diet on the NIH.gov website it reads like many other diets, eat this, not that. Instead, try this tracking form to count your fruits, vegetable and dairy intake daily for a few weeks (not my original form, found on Pinterest like every other useful thing in my life).
Counting up let’s me plan for what I get to eat next and supports food decisions that may lead to better health. And, because I’m counting up in fruits and vegetables, the health benefits outweigh any concern for overeating.