Study under review: 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
The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet is one of the most widely recommended diets for the treatment and prevention of high blood pressure and dyslipidemia. One element of the DASH eating plan is limiting foods that are high in saturated fat. This recommendation came about from observational and experimental evidence suggesting that vegetarian diets and those lower in saturated fat are associated with more favorable blood pressure and blood lipid health markers.
Accumulating evidence over the last decade has brought saturated fat back into the spotlight, suggesting that it may not be as detrimental to cardiovascular disease risk as once thought. It is possible that the effects of saturated fat depend on dietary context. For instance, it has been shown that replacing dietary saturated fat with carbohydrates from refined starches and added sugars was associated with no reduction in heart disease risk, but replacement with whole grains had a protective effect.
Research has yet to evaluate what effect a high intake of saturated fat would have in the context of the DASH diet, which is traditionally higher in carbohydrates (50-60%) and lower in total fat (20-25%). The study under review aimed to fill this knowledge gap by examining what occurs when some of the carbohydrate is replaced by fat in a DASH-like eating pattern.
Limiting saturated fat is one element of the DASH diet, but no research has been conducted to examine what occurs when saturated fat is not limited. The current study examined the effects of eating a high saturated fat DASH-like diet on blood pressure and blood lipids.
Other Articles in Issue #15 (January 2016)
Wine and dine with diabetes
For some, wine is a daily or weekly indulgence. As those with type 2 diabetes must pay extra attention to the blood sugar and lipid impact of what they consume, this trial puts red and white wine to the test.
Better living through cherry juice
Cherries and berries (the former is not a type of the latter, by the way) have increasingly shown cognitive benefits. This trial specifically explores cherries for Alzheimer’s disease.
Interview: Victoria Prince, MD, PhD
Victoria Prince is passionate about ancestral health and evolutionary medicine, and has a particular interest in dietary fats and the role they play in health and disease, especially liver disease. She writes at principleintopractice.com.
The chocolate fountain of youth
Cocoa contains high levels of beneficial phytochemicals called “flavanols”, which may provide a variety of health benefits. This randomized trial tested cocoa for the specific purpose of wrinkle reduction and other skin-related improvements.
Beyond ‘eat less, move more’: treating obesity in 2016
By Spencer Nadolsky, DO
A fishy depression treatment
With many trials already conducted on the topic of fish oil and depression, the question of overall impact still remained. This is the latest update to the Cochrane systematic review on the topic.
A calorie is a calorie ... or is it?
Obesity research typically focus on what you eat, but less frequently touches on when you should eat it. Since animal models have shown strong results for meal timing, this study looked at potential weight-related benefits of eating earlier in humans.
A bit of D for CVD
Vitamin D is touted for pretty much every health condition out there. While observational evidence has strongly linked optimal vitamin D levels to cardiovascular disease, the trial evidence has been more mixed. This trial attempts to strengthen that literature base.
Your probiotic may be lying to you
Take a gander at a probiotic bottle label and you may be astounded at the number of live bacteria, as well as the variety these supplements contain. But the labels may not be entirely accurate