According to to researchmore than a billion people worldwide suffer from high blood pressure, and this number continues to rise.
Indeed, the fact that the number of people with high blood pressure has more than doubled over the past 40 years is a serious public health concern, as high blood pressure is associated with an increased risk of diseases such as heart disease, kidney failure and stroke.
As diet is known to play an important role in the development of high blood pressure, scientists and policy makers have developed specialized dietary recommendations to aid in its reduction.
This article reviews the DASH diet, which was created to help patients with high blood pressure reduce their risk of heart disease.
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What is the Dash Diet?
As its name suggests, the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet was developed with the goal of lowering dangerous levels of blood pressure in the population without the administration of clinical drugs.
Additionally, those who were susceptible to hypertension found it effective in fighting the disease. However, the DASH diet not only helps people with high blood pressure, but also serves to control many other diseases such as stroke, heart disease, certain types of cancer, diabetes, and kidney stones.
The DASH diet should not be followed exclusively by people with high blood pressure. Anyone looking to control their weight and stay healthy can adopt this routine.
This diet primarily consists of the goodness of fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, seeds, and low-fat/skimmed dairy products.
Who is the Dash diet recommended for?
The DASH diet can be followed by anyone for significant health gains. Studies conducted to probe the benefits of the DASH diet have shown that it can go a long way in preventing high blood pressure in children and adults.
Additionally, its health benefits range from lowering cholesterol and blood sugar levels to improving bone health and reducing the risk of gout, inflammation, and even cancer.
So while the dash diet can be followed by your whole family, those at risk for high blood pressure and heart disease benefit the most from following this eating routine.
Do’s and Don’ts in a Dash Diet Foods
The DASH diet, like any other diet, recommends things you include and avoid certain foods. In the section below, we will discuss foods to add and avoid in detail below:-
Foods to Add to Your Dash Diet
The DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet is a well-balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins.
It is designed to lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke and certain types of cancer. Here are some examples of what you can eat on the DASH diet:
Fruits: Fresh and frozen fruits like apples, bananas, berries, oranges and melons.
Vegetables: Leafy greens, such as spinach, kale, and collard greens, as well as a wide variety of colorful vegetables like peppers, carrots, and tomatoes.
Whole grains: Whole grain bread, pasta and cereal made with oats, brown rice, quinoa and other whole grains.
Lean proteins: Chicken, turkey, fish, beans and tofu.
Nuts, seeds and legumes: Almonds, peanuts and other nuts, as well as seeds like sunflower and pumpkin seeds, and legumes like lentils and chickpeas.
Dairy: Low-fat or skimmed milk, yogurt and cheese.
DASH lowers blood pressure, especially if it is high, and may help with weight loss. Additionally, a healthier diet, such as DASH, may reduce your risk of diabetes, heart disease, metabolic syndrome, and certain cancers.
1. You can eat 6-8 servings of cereal a day. So you can choose between bread, pasta, cereal or rice. Try to eat whole grains instead of refined grains, as they have a higher nutrient content and fiber value.
2. Consuming four to five servings of vegetables like broccoli, carrots, tomatoes, and leafy greens is ideal when following the dash diet.
3. You can also eat up to 2-3 servings of fruit on this diet.
4. As far as dairy products go, make sure it’s low-fat or skimmed milk/yogurt/cheese or other dairy products, but limit yourself to 2-3 servings a day.
5. You can have 2-3 servings of lean meat, poultry or fish per day, as long as the serving size is respected.
6. Nuts, seeds and legumes can be eaten four to five times a week.
7. Limit consumption of fats and oils to 2 small servings per day. Choose monounsaturated fats over unhealthy trans fats.
Foods to Avoid on the Dash Diet
In general, the DASH diet recommends avoiding or limiting the following types of foods:
Processed and high-fat meats: These foods tend to be high in saturated fat and cholesterol, which can contribute to high blood pressure and other health issues. Instead, choose lean proteins like chicken, turkey, and fish, or plant-based proteins like beans, lentils, and tofu.
Whole milk products: These products are high in saturated fat and can contribute to high blood pressure. Instead, choose low-fat or skimmed dairy products.
Added sugars: These can be found in sugary drinks, desserts, and other sweet treats. They can contribute to weight gain and increase the risk of developing high blood pressure and other health problems.
Refined grains: These include white bread, pasta, and rice, which have been stripped of their nutrients during the refining process. Choose whole grains like whole wheat bread, red or brown rice, and quinoa instead.
Highly processed snacks: These can be high in sodium and added sugars, and may not provide many nutrients. Instead, choose whole, unprocessed snacks like fruits, vegetables, and nuts.
Some unhealthy foods to avoid while on this diet are –
- salted nuts
- Sugary drinks
- soft drinks
- Meat dishes
- Prepackaged rice and pasta dishes
- Sauces and sauces
Avoid smoking and drinking: As for alcohol and cigarettes, both increase blood pressure. Even though smoking is not advised at all when you are on a fast diet, you can still consume a maximum of one alcoholic beverage per day.
Drinking in a small, controlled portion should not negatively impact the benefits you get from following this diet.
You may find it difficult to quit smoking completely if you are a regular smoker. Get outside help, such as medication or attend support groups, to help you quit.
Should salt be excluded from the diet?
Yes, it can be difficult at first for anyone who is used to consuming salt on a regular basis to completely eliminate it from their diet. It’s something we understand. However, you don’t have to give up salt altogether; therefore, why not try a substitute?
Instead of adding salt to your diet, you can opt for options like using spices and herbs, lemon juice, vinegar, and even salt alternatives like kosher salt, pink salt, sea salt and low sodium salts.
Additionally, a potassium-based salt substitute will work effectively as a cooking ingredient. Individuals can benefit from eating foods that are naturally high in potassium, such as beans, yogurt, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and spinach.
Dash diet plan
Now, the DASH diet plan does not specifically list what to eat on the diet. Instead, it specifies portion sizes you must adhere to. Serving sizes for each food group have already been discussed above. Here we offer you a sample one-day diet plan designed after the dash diet.
Before breakfast:– 1 glass of lukewarm water with 1 teaspoon of Jeera seeds + half a lemon zest
Breakfast:- 2 medium sized besan cheelas with 1 cup homemade curd + 1 teaspoon green chutney
Mid-morning snack:– 1 yield Coconut water OR 1 glass of buttermilk with 1 teaspoon flax seed powder + 2 walnuts + 2 almonds
Lunch:– 1 katori red rice or semi-cooked rice with 1 katori rajma curry (made with less oil) + 1 bowl of cucumber, tomato salad + 1/2 bowl of homemade curd
Mid-evening snack:- 1 small bowl of coleslaw + 1 cup of herbal tea
Having dinner:– 2 whole wheat chapathis + 1 medium sized katori of mixed vegetables and paneer sabzi + 1 bowl of freshly cut salad
Bedtime snack:- 1 cup chamomile tea
Is the Dash diet good for weight loss?
Many health and fitness enthusiasts are curious: is the dash diet suitable for weight loss? The answer is yes.
Although primarily designed for those vulnerable to high blood pressure, the Dash Diet is a healthy eating plan that promotes eating whole foods and reducing sugar and unhealthy fats in your intake. Naturally, it helps reduce and/or maintain weight.
Unlike other fad diets, it does not stipulate food group exclusions or extreme calorie reductions. As a result, it is easier to follow and stick to.
The Dash Diet promotes manageable dietary changes that are quite flexible, and the diet is grounded in credible nutritional advice.
While you can also choose to follow a more targeted weight loss diet, the Dash Diet will help you lose that unwanted bloat while managing heart health and any unwanted blood pressure symptoms!
Dash Diet Health Benefits
In this section, we learn about the health benefits of the dash diet. The dash diet is famous for offering people an array of proven merits. What are they? Let’s find out.
- As mentioned before, the dash diet was designed and works as a natural counter to high blood pressure.
- Improves the strength of your bones: It can help prevent osteoporosis and maintain the overall strength of your bones. This trait is the result of the increased calcium intake recommended as part of the diet.
- Reduces Uric Acid Levels: This diet helps you reduce uric acid levels in your body, especially if you suffer from hyperuricemia. You are at a reduced risk of diseases, such as gout, if you follow this diet.
- Prevents metabolic disorders: You need to balance your intake on your DASH diet and reduce your fat intake.
- Decreased risk of cancer: High fruit and vegetable intake in the diet has also been linked to reduced risk of certain types of cancer, including colon, breast and prostate cancer.
- Lowering of blood pressure: The DASH diet has been shown to be effective in lowering blood pressure in people with hypertension (high blood pressure).
- Reduce the risk of heart disease: High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease, so the DASH diet may help reduce the risk of developing heart disease.
- Improve cholesterol levels: The DASH diet can help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and raise HDL (good) cholesterol levels, which may help improve overall cholesterol levels.
- Promote weight loss: The DASH diet is a calorie-controlled diet that can help with weight loss if followed consistently. According to some to researchthe DASH diet with exercise can help people lose weight.
The Dash Diet was originally formulated to lower blood pressure levels in the human population. It was found to be just as effective as the first line of drugs given to people at high risk of high blood pressure.
Since it promotes the consumption of whole foods and encourages you to reduce your high sugar, starch and fat content, opting for this diet is a healthy way to manage blood pressure while maintaining health and well-being.
- Global trends in blood pressure from 1975 to 2015: a pooled analysis of 1479 population-based measurement studies with 19.1 million participants. (2016) – https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27863813/
- Effects of the DASH diet alone and in combination with exercise and weight loss on blood pressure and cardiovascular biomarkers in men and women with high blood pressure: the ENCORE study. (2010) – https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20101007/
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. What is the DASH diet?
The DASH diet is a diet recommended by the American Heart Association (AHA) and other health organizations as a way to prevent or manage hypertension (high blood pressure) and improve overall health.
2. What does the DASH diet recommend?
The DASH diet recommends a balanced, nutrient-dense diet that emphasizes whole foods and focuses on reducing sodium intake and increasing potassium, calcium, and magnesium intake. He also recommends limiting the intake of saturated fats, cholesterol and added sugars.
3. What types of foods are included in the DASH diet?
The DASH diet includes a variety of whole, unprocessed foods, including:
- Fruits and vegetables
- Whole grains
- Lean proteins (like chicken, turkey, fish, beans, lentils, and tofu)
- Low-fat or skimmed dairy products
4. What types of foods should be avoided or limited on the DASH diet?
The DASH diet recommends avoiding or limiting the following types of foods:
Processed and high-fat meats
- Whole milk products
- Added sugars
- Refined grains
- Highly processed snacks
5. Is the DASH diet low in sodium?
The DASH diet recommends reducing sodium intake, but it is not a low sodium diet. Instead, it aims to help people achieve a healthy balance of sodium and other minerals, such as potassium, calcium, and magnesium.
6. Can the DASH diet help lower blood pressure?
Yes, the DASH diet has been shown to be effective in lowering blood pressure in many people. In fact, it’s often recommended by medical professionals as a first-line treatment for hypertension.
7. Is the DASH diet suitable for everyone?
Depends on your health condition. If you have any health conditions or are taking medication, it is important to speak with your health care provider before starting the DASH diet or any new diet.
8. Can the DASH diet help with weight loss?
Yes, it can help you on your weight loss journey. Although the DASH diet is not specifically designed for weight loss, it may help some people lose weight due to its emphasis on nutrient-dense whole foods and its recommendations to limit added sugars and high-fat snacks. transformed.
9. Can the DASH diet be followed in restaurants?
Yes, the DASH diet can be taken at restaurants. Look for restaurants that offer a variety of whole, unprocessed foods, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. You can also request modifications to dishes, such as requesting that your meal be prepared without added salt or that monosodium glutamate (MSG) be avoided during preparation or requesting an extra serving of vegetables or salad.
10. Can the DASH diet be followed with a vegetarian or vegan diet?
Yes, the DASH diet can be followed by a vegetarian or vegan diet. Plant-based proteins, such as beans, lentils, and tofu, can be included as part of a vegetarian or vegan DASH diet.