With its emphasis on eating a variety of foods and getting the right nutrients in the proper amounts, the DASH diet can help with many health issues. DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, but it can help with much more than that. It is a proven diet plan to lower blood pressure. By lowering blood pressure it can help with heart disease, strokes, diabetes, weight loss, liver disease, kidney disease and help teach you how to live a healthy lifestyle.
Several books have been released to go along with the diet. The D.A.S.H. Diet Weight Loss Solution is a new bestseller that assimilates the diet with a weight loss program. The D.A.S.H. Diet Action Plan along with The Everyday D.A.S.H. Diet Cookbook are resources to help you use the diet in your daily eating and cooking habits.
This diet has been so highly applauded because it includes guidelines that doctors already recommend. Guidelines such as eating less processed meat, sugar, saturated fat, cholesterol, and trans fat. Nothing that you haven’t heard before, but they put together in a new way that is more accessible and fit more easily into your life.
There have been recent studies on the diet supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. One study was on the effects of eating a varied, healthy diet, such as the DASH, versus eating a typical American diet on blood pressure. The results showed that following a diet like DASH, with healthy food, fruits and vegetables, and low-fat dairy can lower blood pressure. DASH also helps you reduce red meat, sweets, and fatty foods. It is worth noting that participants in this study lowered their blood pressure even without restrictions on salt intake. In another study, they did impose sodium limits. Those participants lowered their blood pressure even further.
The D.A.S.H. Diet works to lower your blood pressure in several ways. First, by replacing high salt, highly processed foods with healthy alternatives like fruits and vegetables. A diet high in sodium has been linked to high blood pressure, which can contribute to heart disease, liver disease, kidney disease and stroke. Many sources suggest keeping your daily sodium intake to 1,500 mg per day or less. This equals about 2/3 teaspoon of salt. Use salt-free seasonings and look for salt substitutes.
DASH is also rich in nutrients such as fiber, calcium, potassium, and magnesium, deficits of which are linked to hypertension. 98% of all Americans suffer from a lack of potassium. Sources of potassium are beans, legumes, nuts, dairy products, fruits, and vegetables.
The diet recommends daily servings of 7-8 of grains, 4-5 of fruits and vegetables, 2-3 of low-fat dairy, and no more than 2 of servings of lean meats. And also weekly servings of 4-5 portions of beans, seeds, and nuts.
It is easy to get to these suggested servings by making a few simple changes to your diet. You can raise your veggie intake by adding them to salads or soups, having cut or bite-sized vegetables as snacks, and increasing the veggie to meat ratio in your food. You can choose whole grain versions of bread, cereal, and pasta. Add nuts to your cereal, yogurt, or salads. Have dried fruit and nuts for snacks. Substitute low-fat milk in smoothies and coffee. Use low-fat yogurt and cheese for breakfast, snacks, or on salads and vegetables.
The DASH diet is a healthy, high-fiber diet that can help, not only lower high blood pressure, but also high cholesterol. It is a healthy weight loss diet and it helps you get healthy by choosing a healthy lifestyle.