If the DASH diet works, why aren’t we using it? The surprising reason why

by Sifter
,
Judy Seybold
,
MS, RDN, LD, CLC
July 9, 2024
July 9, 2024
DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) was created more than 25 years ago to help people control their blood pressure through a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins, and low in saturated fat, sugar, and salt. Numerous clinical trials have shown that following a DASH diet can lower blood pressure as effectively as medication, and there's a growing body of evidence that DASH also lowers the risk of type 2 diabetes, stroke, and obesity. So why are so few people following it?

Guidelines aren’t enough. As with any prescriptive diet, simply providing patients with a list of suggested foods results in a lack of action. The key is giving people the tools and support to find and buy DASH-appropriate foods, which is why Sifter's Food as Medicine platform is essential.

Dietitians and other health professionals increasingly rely on Sifter to deliver medically tailored grocery (MTG) lists for their patients with high blood pressure, giving them crucial guidance where it counts most: at the grocery store. Our FoodMed Certified technology identifies eligibility for hundreds of chronic health conditions, from hypertension to diabetes to heart health, as well as food intolerances, cultural preferences, and ingredient likes/dislikes. This powerful hyper-personalization lets you create accurate, highly specific, and highly customized lists of grocery foods available for purchase at the patient's preferred local retailer.

The Sifter platform also includes barcode scanning functionality that can be seamlessly integrated into any health app, turning the patient's smartphone into a grocery scanning machine. Patients use their phone to scan grocery products and learn, on the spot, whether the food fits DASH. No more second-guessing in the grocery aisle.

With Sifter, it's now easy for patients to follow a DASH diet:

➤ Cost. DASH emphasizes fresh fruits and vegetables, which can be more expensive than processed foods. Sifter analyzes the nutrition information of grocery foods across all categories — frozen, canned, dried, and fresh — guiding patients to DASH-appropriate foods within their budget.

Time and Convenience. Preparing meals according to the DASH diet can be challenging for patients with busy schedules or limited cooking skills. Sifter's evidence-based algorithms "sift" all grocery convenience foods (frozen meals, canned soups, packaged mixes, etc.) to single out those products that are low in sodium, saturated fat, and added sugars.

➤ Cultural Preferences. Sifter identifies grocery foods that not only fit DASH, but with the patient's cultural identity. People are more likely to adhere to a DASH eating plan if they're guided to eligible foods familiar to them.

Hypertension affects nearly half of U.S. adults, or 122 million people. Now is the time to leverage Sifter's technology solutions to help patients reap the benefits of a DASH diet.

Learn more about using Sifter for better health outcomes →

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