I have followed DASH in the past, but my doctor recommended that I try low-carb (warning me not to go to low), so I experimented with different carb levels.
To do that I chose to use a standard exchange plan, and I experimented with different distributions of the exchanges.
Most exchange plans (including DASH) are based on the exchange plan created for Diabetics in the 1940's or 50's. The only difference is that the DASH protein exchange is = to 3 standard exchanges, and the DASH nut exchange is = 2 or 3 fat exchanges.
What's nice about that is that most exchange plan cookbooks are interchangeable (but of course you have to do a little "conversion" from DASH to another exchange plan or vice versa when dealing with nut and protein ingredients).
I LOVE exchange plan dieting, because the calories are already counted for me, and it incorporates balance without my having to depend on my good judgement (which I don't always use on my own - I tend to go on food jags if I'm not using an exchange plan. And too much of even the best, healthiest foods, can still cause problems).
Exchange plans help me remember that 1800 calories of whole foods is healthier than 1800 calories of chocolate. Although I still have to try to make the best choices i can, because craisins and fresh strawberries both count as fruit. Although usually the healthiest choice is also the most satisfying and also the largest portion. For example most fruits are 1/2 cup equal 1 fruit exchange - however lower calorie and lower-carb strawberries are 1 1/4 cup equal 1 exchange. So I can have two tablespoons of craisings, or I can have a heaping cup of strawberries -- for someone who likes to eat, it's a no-brainer (also strawberries aren't going to spike my blood sugar the way craisins would).