Health Approach
What You Need To Know About ‘DASH Diet’

What You Need To Know About ‘DASH Diet’

Are you thinking that it is impossible to stop hypertension or high blood pressure? Well, the answer to that is by following a healthy eating pattern, such as the DASH diet. Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) are a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds, whole grains, fish, poultry and low-fat or fat-free products and foods and drinks that is also low with  sugar, red meat and sodium.

Originally designed as a diet plan to lower blood pressure, DASH has many health benefits that can also help reduce cardiovascular risk factors. This heart-healthy meal plan which focuses mainly on whole foods, is richer in nutrients that have been proven to lower blood pressure such as dietary fiber, potassium, calcium, magnesium, protein and low in saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, added sugars and sodium. This is a good way of healthy eating for the whole family, an eating plan that at the same time reduce the risk of stroke, heart disease and kidney stones.

Here’s a look at the basics of the DASH meal plan and the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.

Eat Your Fruits And Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are natural sources of potassium, which is important for controlling blood pressure. As some studies have shown that low potassium intake can be related to hypertension and by eating half your plate of fruits and vegetables will help you increase your intake.

Go Nuts

Unsalted nuts are an excellent source of unsaturated fat, the kind that has been shown to help lower “bad” cholesterol (LDL) when replaced with saturated fat. Rich in antioxidants, walnuts contain compounds that can help reduce damage to your blood vessels. These compounds will also help keep the blood vessels healthy for an unlimited blood flow.

Choose Low-Fat Or Non-Fat Dairy Products

Calcium is not only important for bones, it is also crucial for our blood vessels. While dairy products are high in calcium, high-fat dairy products also contain saturated fat which is not good for heart health. Choose low-fat or non-fat milk and dairy products instead of whole or calcium-fortified soy milk.

Limiting Sodium And Saturated Fat Can Do Wonders

The DASH meal plan limits sodium to 2,300 mg per day. Though an additional benefits of lowering blood pressure can be seen for those who limit the sodium intake to 1,500 mg.

Studies have also shown that a diet low in saturated fat can reduce the risk of heart disease and high blood pressure. Plant-based foods are a great way to get nutrients, including protein, without too much saturated fat. Beans, lentils, and tofu are great choices.

Be physically active and limit alcohol intake

Physical activity is important. It promotes heart health and helps achieve overall fitness so as you do not have difficulty in breathing just by going up a simple set of stairs. Both aerobic and exercises that are muscle-strengthening are recommended to help improve blood pressure. Regular physical activity can also help raise your “good” cholesterol (HDL) level. Aim for at least 150-300 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity each week along with muscle-strengthening activities 2 or more days a week. Lastly, for those who are of legal drinking age, it is imperative to monitor their alcohol intake. One alcoholic beverage is equivalent to 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof alcohol. Men who choose to drink should limit their alcohol intake to two drinks or less per day, and women should not consume more than one drink per day. Reducing alcohol consumption can definitely lower blood pressure.

Picture Credit

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *