In a nutshell
The DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension Diet), is primarily designed to help people lower their blood pressure –and it could take off pesky pounds, too. That’s hitting two birds with one stone.
The DASH diet was named by U.S. News & World Report as the best overall diet for the fifth year in a row, beating the popular diet program Weight Watchers and other health plans like the Ornish Diet. That proves a lot!
Why it was developed
Dash was developed specially to help people lower their high blood pressure, or more popularly called hypertension. The diet is promoted by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute under the National Institutes of Health. Food options appliedbyDASH mirror the eating plan promoted in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s MyPlate, focusing on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, poultry, fish, and nuts. The diet is low in fat, sugar, red meat, including sugary drinks. So, no more sodas?
The diet claims that a healthy eating pattern is the key to avoiding high blood pressure while trimming down your waistline. The theory is that taking foods that are rich in potassium, protein, calcium, and fiber will fend off high blood pressure.
It’s basically just emphasizing on eating foods that we’ve always been told to eat. Studies show DASH can lower blood pressure, which, if too high may trigger a host of diseases, the most infamous of which is heart attack and even stroke. The diet has been shown to increase good HDL cholesterol while decreasing bad LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, a substance that contributes to heart disease.
How to follow DASH diet
Anyonewho’s been in a diet is a testament to how hard it is to give up entire food groups. Dash, however, doesn’t focus on depriving you from your most loved foods, upping your chances of sticking with the diet for a long term.
Recipes. The NHLBI compiled various recipes in its 64-page PDF. The Mayo Clinic also provides a long list of DASH-friendly recipes. Be sure to follow recipes from reputable organizations.
Eating out. Because restaurant foods are notoriously salty, fatty and oversized, dining out will be difficult. The NHBI suggests shunning salt by avoiding cured, pickled or smoked meals; limiting condiments; picking fruits and vegetables instead of soup; and requesting the chef to find alternate ways to season your meal.
Boosting DASH effect. Like most diet plans, you can boost the effects of DASH through appendages such as the weight supplements of Supps R Us and regular workout program. Studies have shown that people who use this combination can improve health and reduce body fat quicker.
The cost. You need to spend a little more for fresh fruits and whole-grain products since they are usually more expensive than processed, sugary, fatty foods most Americans consume.
That’s it! It’s always a good idea to consult a fitness expert or your doctor before undertaking any new diet program. You can learn more about the DASH diet here. Best of luck!