The effect of DASH diet on pregnancy outcomes in gestational diabetes: a randomized controlled clinical trial

Eur J Clin Nutr. 2014 Apr;68(4):490-5. doi: 10.1038/ejcn.2013.296. Epub 2014 Jan 15.


Background/objectives: The current study was performed to investigate the effects of the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) eating plan on pregnancy outcomes in pregnant women with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM).

Subjects/methods: This randomized controlled clinical trial was performed among 52 women diagnosed with GDM. Participants were randomly assigned to consume either the control (n=26) or the DASH diet (n=26) for 4 weeks. The control diet was designed to contain 45-55% carbohydrates, 15-20% protein and 25-30% total fat. The DASH diet was rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy products, and contained lower amounts of saturated fats, cholesterol and refined grains with a total of 2400 mg/day sodium. The numbers of women who commenced insulin therapy after dietary intervention, the mode of delivery and prevalence of polyhydramnios were assessed. The length, weight and head circumference of infants were measured during the first 24 h after birth.

Results: Whereas 46.2% of women in the DASH diet needed to have a cesarean section, this percentage for the control group was 80.8% (P=0.01). The percentage of those who needed to commence insulin therapy after intervention was also significantly different between the two groups (23% for DASH vs 73% for control group, P<0.0001). Infants born to mothers on the DASH diet had significantly lower weight (3222.7 vs 3818.8 g, P<0.0001), head circumference (34.2 vs 35.1 cm, P=0.01) and ponderal index (2.50 vs 2.87 kg/m(3), P<0.0001) compared with those born to mothers on the control diet.

Conclusions: In conclusion, consumption of DASH diet for 4 weeks among pregnant women with GDM resulted in improved pregnancy outcomes.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Birth Weight
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Dairy Products / analysis
  • Diabetes, Gestational / diet therapy*
  • Diet Records
  • Diet*
  • Edible Grain
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Female
  • Fruit
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / diet therapy*
  • Infant
  • Insulin / therapeutic use
  • Nutrition Assessment
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Outcome*
  • Vegetables
  • Young Adult


  • Blood Glucose
  • Insulin