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The DASH Diet

The DASH Diet

Dr. Ryan Noonan, MD
Campbell County Medical Group Family/Sports Medicine

Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, or DASH, is a diet plan initially designed to help prevent and treat high blood pressure. The DASH diet has been ranked the #1 diet by the US News and World Report for the last five years running, and lately a lot of media buzz has highlighted this diet due to its many other benefits. Some of those benefits include: weight loss, Type 2 diabetes prevention, decreased risk of heart disease or failure, lower cholesterol, decreased risk of stroke, and improved insulin sensitivity.

Since the diet is heavily focused on eating foods without artificial additives, it consists of eating lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low or non-fat dairy, and the right balance of protein. I am excited to see patients in the community successfully losing weight and improving their health with this diet.

man holding food

One of those patients is Jonathan Struebing, who I first met with in May of 2015. After some initial screenings I discovered that Jonathan was on the verge of becoming diabetic. I recommended he try the DASH diet as a method of diabetes prevention. Jonathan has since had tremendous success with the diet plan.

"Being from an Italian family, and living in Chicago, I could eat bread, pasta, and any other carbs with the best of them. After moving to Wyoming with my family five years ago, I managed to lose about 40 pounds on my own, but plateaued at about 208. It wasn't until after I met with Dr. Noonan that I realized I had to change my diet if I wanted to avoid being diabetic like my father and grandfather," shared Jonathan about his journey towards healthy living.

Jonathan has fully committed to this diet and he is now down to 192 pounds and completely off of his blood cholesterol medication.

"It's a level of commitment that you have to make," explained Struebing. "I don't want to see my doctor all the time, so that means I need to take steps towards being healthier. Now, I work out on the stair master every day and lift weights on Friday to help maintain my progress. I'm learning how to cook as I go, and I'm more aware about portion sizes and food contents than I was before."

Jonathan also explained how he is never hungry on the diet and still able to eat at restaurants, but cuts down on the sugar and carbs. His favorite snacks are cheese, almonds, and lightly salted peanuts and he likes to use Neo sometimes to give his water some flavor.

"Dr. Noonan changed my life," says Struebing. "My previous doctor didn't give me the feedback or information about my health that I needed. Dr. Noonan did, and he gave me the tools necessary to make a change. Now I have way more energy than I did before, I don't get headaches, and I don't even crave junk food anymore because it tastes just like a salt sandwich."

So, if you are looking for a new dietary plan to help manage your diabetes, lose a few inches, or just to have a healthier lifestyle, just look at what the DASH diet has done for Jonathan in just a few months. It's a healthy dietary plan for people of all ages; and although there are no health risks associated with the DASH diet, if you have a health condition consult with your doctor first before starting for additional guidance.

To learn more about ways to manage your diabetes you can visit Campbell County Health's Diabetes Center, or schedule an appointment with the CCMG Main Clinic providers.