The DASH (Dietary Approach to Stopping Hypertension) diet targets high blood pressure. Diet plays an important role in regulating blood pressure. According to research, individuals who follow a plant-based diet like vegetarians are more prone to having a lower blood pressure. The DASH diet involves reducing the sodium in one’s diet and eating foods packed with nutrients like calcium, and potassium to help lower blood pressure. This kind of diet is also recommended for the prevention of cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis and heart disease. It’s low in cholesterol, total fat and saturated fat.
The standard DASH diet involves eating lots of fruits, low-fat dairy foods and vegetables and moderate amounts of poultry, whole grains, nuts, and fish. It allows you to consume up to 2,300 mg of sodium a day. There’s a lower sodium version that allows you to take up to 1,500 mg of sodium daily. The DASH diet allows you to eat small amounts of fats, red meat and sweets.
In the standard version, you can get 6 to 8 servings of grains, 4 to 5 servings of vegetables, 2 to 3 servings of dairy, 4 to 5 servings of fruits and 6 servings or fewer of lean meat, fish and poultry a day. You can also consume 4 to 5 servings of legumes, nuts, and seeds a week, 2 to 3 servings of oils and fats a day and 5 servings or fewer of sweets a week. When you eat sweets, pick low-fat or fat-free ones.
The DASH diet is ideal for those who have been told to reduce their blood pressure and for those with cardiovascular disease or cardiovascular risk. It can be beneficial also for anyone as it promotes healthy eating. This kind of diet is recommended to individuals who want to alleviate or prevent symptoms associated with hypertension like fatigue, headaches and chest pain.
You don’t have to follow any strict rules. The DASH diet doesn’t require to measure macros or count calories. It only emphasizes the consumption of vegetables, fruits, lean meat and whole grains and avoidance of salt and processed foods.
Benefits of the DASH Diet
The DASH diet can help lower blood pressure and cardiovascular risk. It can also help you lose weight and reduce your risk of certain cancers like colorectal cancer and breast cancer. The only drawback of this diet is the amount of salt it allows you to consume. Reducing your salt intake is healthy, but too little salt in your salt can be harmful as well. If you are worried about the risks associated with high blood pressure, you should pay a visit to your doctor. Although the DASH diet isn’t a weight loss program, it can help you get rid of excess pounds as it can guide you towards healthier food choices.
The foods allowed in the diet are already low in sodium, but you can reduce your sodium intake further by choosing sodium-free, no salt added or low sodium foods or using sodium-free flavorings or spices. You don’t need to change your diet right away. Change slowly. For instance, you can add a serving of vegetables or fruits at lunch and dinner every day. You can also exercise to boost your efforts.
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