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DASH Diet, A Healthy Way to Stay Fit & Live Longer

Coronary heart diseases rate has increased by many folds in the past few decades. The common reason for increased rate of heart diseases around the globe is a lifestyle and dietary trends that lead to hypertension. High blood pressure affects almost 1.1 billion people around the world and the number is unfortunately increasing. People with high blood pressure are not only at the risk of developing heart diseases but also kidney failure and stroke.

As mentioned above, diet is one of the major reasons that lead to high blood pressure therefore scientists and nutritionists have started to focus on planning and developing strategic diet plans that can reduce the danger of high blood pressure. A successful outcome of their research is the DASH Diet.

What is the DASH Diet?

DASH or DSH diet stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. DASH diet is commonly recommended to people who have high blood pressure, in order to reduce their chance of having serious heart conditions.

DASH diet mainly focuses on plant-based food items and lean meats and it is low at salt, added sugar, red meat and fat. People who consume fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean meats are at lower risk of hypertension. Salt is said to be the major reason for causing high blood pressure thus DASH diet focuses on reducing the intake of salt.

The regular version of the DASH diet recommends that a person should consume no more than one tablespoon (2300 mg) of sodium a day. The lower salt version recommends the amount to be no more than ¾ tablespoon (1500 mg) a day.

 

Lowering Blood Pressure with DASH Diet

A normal reading of blood pressure of an average person must be 120mmHg/80mmHg. A person is considered to have high blood pressure if his/her blood pressure reading is 140mmHg/90mmHg. DASH diet helps in normalizing the blood pressure of healthy as well as those people who already have high blood pressure. DASH diet restricts the intake of salt thus it significantly reduces the blood pressure.

A healthy person, with a normal blood pressure is at lower and sometimes zero risk of having any heart disease. DASH diet also helps in reducing cholesterol. We must note that lower blood pressure is not the only way to ensure the decreased risk of heart diseases. Many other factors can play a significant role in this matter despite a normal blood pressure.

Losing Weight with DASH Diet

Those who have high blood pressure are mostly advised to lose weight and maintain an appropriate proportion of age, height and weight.

DASH diet assures lower blood pressure, but it is not necessary that a person following regular DASH diet also loses weight. But some studies have shown that if people follow specific DASH diet plans, they can manage to lose weight.

DASH diet restricts the use of high-fat sugary foods, therefore, people automatically cut the consumption of calories and eventually lose weight.

DASH diet to lose weight is said to be more efficient than CRASH diet in many ways. Doctors say that the DASH diet is the best diet to improve the overall condition of a person. According to a study, the DASH diet scored 3. Out 5 in weight loss effectiveness whereas it scored 4.5 out of 5 in health usefulness. DASH it is the number 1 diet out of 40 diets evaluated. It balances all the necessary nutrients and minerals in a person body like calcium. Potassium, protein and fiber those are responsible for brain and other organs’ functioning.

DASH diet is an easy yet safe plan for losing weight. With DASH diet, unlike crash diet, a person does not have to starve to lose weight. In DASH diet you have to be patient to lose weight as you lose weight gradually.  People following DASH diet also improve insulin resistance thus it is an excellent diet for those with diabetes. In DASH diet you don’t have to calculate and monitor each nutrient instead you just have to reduce your salt intake and consume more fruits, vegetables and protein-rich foods. DASH diet is a complete lifestyle change that leads to healthy and fit body.

With DASH diet you have to take care of your eating habits. You don’t have to cut your favorite foods out of your life entirely. You just have to restrict the portions of each food. There are some specific rules that you must consider about DASH diet.

Dash diet is more about the quality rather than the quality of food. You must drink 67 ounces of fluids every day. It can consist of plain water and green tea, but the green tea must not be taken more than 4 cups a day.

Try eating five times a day. Each serving must not be more than 8.8 ounces. It implies that you should eat in smaller portions and more often.

Limit your daily calorie intake to 2000-2500 a day. If you like sweets, you can continue having them, but you have to control yourself.

You should eat more cereals, seeds, beans and lean meats. Soda and alcohol is a big no. They are adverse to health in many ways. Alcohol harms your liver, heart and brain.

If you really want to lose weight and stay fit, you should exclude fatty and smoked foods from your life. Also, cut the intake of red meat and canned fish. Red meat not only fattens you but also increases the risk of high blood pressure.

What can you eat on a DASH diet?

According to the DASH principle, you want to lose weight your menu should contain fewer calories. You can do this by reducing the size of your servings. People on dash diet can have the following

  • Cereals
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Non-fat dairy products
  • Sweets – like honey and jam, no more than five times in small portions a week
  • Fluids
  • Protein – 7 ounces of lean meat, fish or egg a day

You must avoid having the following foods

  • Fast food & chips
  • Alcohol
  • Fatty meat
  • Cadies, cookies and other such sweets
  • Soda

 

Bottom Line:

We all wish to maintain a healthy lifestyle in order to look good and feel active. This can be possible if we follow the appropriate diet plan and that appropriate diet plan can be DASH diet. DASH diet is safe as it is backed by many major health organizations like USDA and American Heart Association. It is not as cumbersome as a crash diet, and it is beneficial in keeping your heart and body healthy. Following DASH diet is easy if only you restrict yourself from junk food and excessive salt intake. DASH diet allows you to enjoy all kinds of food but in specific quantities.

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