In the world full of diet to lose weight, we have dietary approaches to stop hypertension, or the DASH diet, which is thought to help treat hypertension or high blood pressure. The DASH diet encourages you to reduce sodium intake in your diet and add more variety of nutrient-rich foods that help lower blood pressure levels. Is this diet effective? What does it really preach? Does what is called a “balanced diet” compromise? Let’s find out.
What is the DASH diet?
Also known as Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, this diet focuses on reducing your blood pressure levels and encourages healthy eating. It promotes eating less sodium and loading high in potassium, magnesium and calcium to regulate blood pressure. According to the Mayo Clinic, the DASH diet is a healthy way to eat; offers health benefits simply by lowering blood pressure. It is said that the DASH diet is consistent with dietary recommendations to prevent osteoporosis, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer.
This diet focuses on reducing your blood pressure levels.
The DASH diet is altered according to the dietary needs of the person and the intensity of the hypertension. Therefore, in addition to the standard DASH diet, which allows you to consume up to 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day, there is a lower version of the diet. This is what the two versions have to offer:
- Standard DASH diet: up to 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day can be consumed
- DASH diet low in sodium: you can consume up to 1,500 milligrams of sodium per day
Both versions aim to reduce the amount of sodium, which helps reduce blood pressure levels and the risk of developing other cardiovascular diseases.
What does the DASH diet recommend for eating?
This diet focuses on plants and is rich in vegetables, fruits and nuts along with low-fat and fat-free dairy products, which are excellent sources of healthy fats. Basically, the diet emphasizes reducing sodium intake by consuming whole foods instead of processed foods.
This diet focuses on plants and is rich in vegetables, fruits and nuts
Does the DASH diet work?
The DASH diet describes a generally healthy diet from which anyone can benefit. Its basic principle is to consume a diet rich in nutrients but not caloric, which has shown that not only reduces blood pressure levels but also promotes weight loss. The American Heart Association (AHA) also recommends this diet and, according to her, “In addition to being easy to follow, delicious and varied, the DASH diet plan has proven effective.” The AHA promotes feeding and avoids the following foods:
Try to eat foods like:
- Whole grains
- Low-fat dairy products
- Nuts and legumes
- Non-tropical vegetable oils
- Without skin poultry and fish
The DASH diet promotes the intake of nuts and seeds.
- Saturated trans fats
- Red meat
- Sweet and sugary drinks
Limit foods like:
If you plan to follow this diet, be sure to consult a nutritionist or dietitian who can help you make the right plan for you.