A moderate-sodium DASH-type diet improves mood in postmenopausal women

Nutrition. 2012 Sep;28(9):896-900. doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2011.11.029. Epub 2012 Apr 4.


Objective: We compared the effect on mood of a moderate sodium Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension-type diet, which included lean red meat (vitality diet [VD]), with a healthy diet (HD; decreased fat and increased wholegrain breads and cereal).

Methods: In a randomized, parallel intervention study, postmenopausal women were assigned to the VD or HD for 14 wk. Mood was measured every 2 wk by the Profile of Mood States. Dietary adherence was assessed using 24-h urine collections. Data were analyzed using one-way between-groups multivariate analysis of variance and correlations.

Results: Forty-six subjects completed the VD and 49 completed the HD. The two groups showed an improvement in anger, confusion, depression, fatigue, tension, vigor, and the Profile of Mood States global score over the length of the intervention (P < 0.01 for time), but there was a significant diet group by time effect for anger (P < 0.05), such that anger improved more in the VD compared with the HD group. For the two groups combined, urinary sodium excretion was associated with the Profile of Mood States global score, such that a low sodium intake was associated with a better mood (r = 0.267, P < 0.05). In addition, red meat consumption (a component of the VD) was associated with a decrease in depression (r = -0.21, P < 0.05) and an increase in fruit consumption was associated with a decrease in confusion (r = -0.26, P < 0.05).

Conclusion: In addition to the health benefits of a moderate-sodium Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension diet on blood pressure and bone health, this diet had a positive effect on improving mood in postmenopausal women.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Affect*
  • Aged
  • Anger*
  • Confusion / diet therapy*
  • Depression / diet therapy*
  • Diet, Sodium-Restricted / psychology*
  • Fatigue / diet therapy
  • Female
  • Fruit
  • Health
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / diet therapy
  • Meat
  • Middle Aged
  • Postmenopause
  • Sodium / administration & dosage*
  • Sodium / urine
  • Sodium Chloride, Dietary / administration & dosage*
  • Sodium Chloride, Dietary / urine
  • Stress, Psychological / diet therapy


  • Sodium Chloride, Dietary
  • Sodium