Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Departmental Honors


Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Sciences


OBJECTIVE: To review the recent medical literature on the effects of the DASH diet principles of increased fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy, and decreased total and saturated fat; focusing on the intent to implement this dietary pattern to reduce hypertension, and thus to reduce cardiovascular disease.

FINDINGS: The combination diet reduced systolic by 5.5 mm Hg, and diastolic by 3.0 mm Hg as compared to the control diet (P<0.001 for each) (5, 7, 8). When comparing the two diet variables, the combination diet reduced systolic blood pressure 2.7 mm Hg, and diastolic 1.9 mm Hg more than the fruits-and-vegetables diet, (all with a P<0.001)! The results of the DASH-sodium (DASH II), proved also to substantially lower blood pressure when used with the combination diet.

CONCLUSION: Even though the DASH-sodium diet did decrease blood pressure, there is no scientific background to recommend this to all populations, and that instead of focusing attention on reducing sodium, efforts should be placed on increasing sources of micronutrients to reduce blood pressure and cardiovascular disease.



Faculty Mentor

Marie K. Walsh

Departmental Honors Advisor

Noreen B. Schvaneveldt