DASH is the short form for Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension. The DASH diet is an approach that is carried out over a long period to help in treating and preventing hypertension. The DASH diet plan encourages intake of foods that are rich in nutrients that will help fight blood pressure. This includes magnesium, potassium and calcium.
If you follow strictly the DASH diet plan, you can reduce your blood pressure significantly just over a period of 2 weeks. Over some time, the blood pressure may drop by 7-12 points, which is very important in making big positive impact on your health patterns. Hence reducing the health risks associated with high blood pressure.
The DASH diet is a way of heating healthy. This means that it offers more than just helping in the lowering of blood pressure. Medical professional have also recommended the diet plan to patients suffering from cancer, stroke and also diabetes. It is also safe to say that, the DASH diet can be used to prevent this conditions too.
DASH diet is not a weight loss program but it can also lead to weight loss of the unwanted pounds. This is because the diet plan advocates for healthier snacks and meals, which in return may lead to weight loss.
The DASH diet plan itself is a diet that is more of veggies, fruits, low fat and also non-fat dairy products. It also have a high fiber content and it tends to moderate on fats. The DASH plan follows the US guidelines that govern sodium content, minerals and vitamins. This healthy way of living is flexible and can be integrated into any kind of lifestyle and is also very easy to follow. This is because it has more specific guidelines that are well explained.
Doctors in this field are recommending the DASH diet to everyone. Every person in the family can enjoy the benefit of healthy eating that comes with the DASH diet. But originally the diet was invented to help people lower their blood pressure level without medication. It also comes with additional heart benefits and lowers inflammation. The effect of DASH diet is the same in adults as is in children.
The DASH diet has to kinds of Sodium levels. This are namely the Standard DASH diet and the Lower sodium DASH diet. The Standard DASH diet say that you can take up to 2300mg of sodium content a day. The lower sodium DASH diet stipulates that you can take up to 1500mg of sodium every day. Both versions have one goal of reducing sodium intake than you could by taking a usual traditional meal.
The lower sodium DASH diet is more recommended to those people whore are 51 years and older, they are black, people who are suffering from diabetes, kidney diseases and also hypertension. Some associations also recommend 1500mg be the upper limit for all adults. If you are not sure or you do not know your sodium levels, please consult your personal doctor. The doctor will also advice you on which Sodium level is right for you.
The DASH diet also touches on the use of alcohols and caffeine. Studies have shown that drinking too much alcohol can increase blood pressure. This is why the DASH diet recommends that men limit their drinking to less than two bottles a day and for women less than one bottle. The DASH diet, however, does not comment on the use of caffeine. This is because the effect of caffeine on blood pressure is not very clear. You may have to talk to your doctor if you suspect caffeine is affection your blood pressure.
As we had mentioned earlier the DASH diet was not designed as a weight loss plan. But it can be used as a long-term strategy to lose weight. There is one problem though, the DASH diet works with a plan of 2000 calories a day, but you have to eat around 1600 calories a day for you to lose weight. You will have to adjust your daily servings based on your individual needs and goals. You may consult your health care team who can effectively help with that.
There are also a few tips that can help you cut back on sodium intake. You may start by taking sodium-free spices to make your food instead of using salt. You should also avoid using salt when you are cooking pasta or rice. You can also rinse canned food to reduce the sodium content in them.
Remember, healthy eating is not a punishment or a futile proposition. What is more important is that on average you eat healthy and a variety of them too. With the DASH diet you can have a nutritious diet that will also help you avoid food boredom.
We hope that this post helped you to understand better what the DASH diet is all about. If you need more info about this diet then you can check the video below…