What is a Dash diet?

DASH stands for Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension. The DASH diet has been clinically shown to lower blood pressure within 2 weeks in dieters. Not only is it known to help control blood pressure, but it is also designed to weight loss programs, helps prevent heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and some forms of cancer.

Who should follow a DASH eating plan?

In fact, a DASH eating plan can be part of any healthy eating plan. Not only will it help lower blood pressure, but it will also offer additional benefits for your heart health, including lowering LDL cholesterol and inflammation.

How does the DASH eating plan work?

The diet consists of foods low in sodium and a variety of foods rich in nutrients such as potassium, calcium, and magnesium that are known to help lower blood pressure. The diet is rich in fiber which again helps lower blood pressure and shed extra pounds, which in turn will help lower blood pressure.

What Should You Eat On A DASH Eating Plan?

  • Grains like whole wheat, brown rice, barley, oats, quinoa are packed with nutrients like protein, B vitamins and trace elements, fiber, and antioxidants that have been shown to reduce the risk of various diseases. However, processed grains lack most of the nutrients and should be avoided.

  • Include skim or low-fat milk, yogurt, Greek yogurt, paneer in your diet instead of whole options. For those who are lactose intolerant, lactose-free milk and dairy products are an option.

  • Nuts like almonds, walnuts, pistachios, etc., beans, dals, and seeds like sunflower seeds, melon, etc. they are part of a healthy eating DASH diet. They are rich in dietary fiber protein, omega 3 fatty acids, vitamins and minerals like zinc and magnesium, etc. Although walnuts contain healthy fats, it would be wise to eat them in limited amounts as they are high in calories. Also, avoid salted or honey-roasted nuts for their high sodium and sugar content.

  • Lean meat, eggs, poultry and fish in moderation instead of meats high in saturated fat. Processed meats such as bacon, ham, hot dogs, salami, etc. they contain a significant amount of sodium, thus restricting your intake. The occasional intake of red meat is allowed.

  • Fruits and vegetables are naturally rich in potassium, which plays an important role in lowering blood pressure. If you are one of those who does not like fruits and vegetables, make the change gradually. Add an additional fruit or vegetable in the day in addition to what you are currently starting. He prefers a whole fruit to juices. Dried fruits without sugar like grapes, blueberries, dried figs, etc. they are good travel options. Make sure there is a vegetable at every meal.

  • The diet should be low in saturated fat and total fat. A diet rich in saturated fat increases the risk of heart disease and hypertension. Fats are important for the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins and help build the body’s immune system. The use of oils such as olive oil, rice bran oil, mustard oil should be promoted at every meal, and trans fats commonly found in processed and fried foods should be avoided.

To make this diet work even better, here are some additional tips: –

  • Reducing your alcohol intake can help lower your blood pressure. Therefore, monitor your alcohol intake.

  • Aerobic exercise along with the DASH diet works faster to lower blood pressure.

  • Read food labels to choose products that are low in sodium.

  • Stress can raise blood pressure even with a healthy diet. Hence, stress management techniques like meditation, yoga, etc. they will help keep your blood pressure under control.

  • Poor sleep increases blood pressure. Therefore, 7-8 hours of deep sleep will help keep your blood pressure under control.

  • If you are someone who smokes, quitting would help lower your blood pressure.

  • Take your medication as prescribed.

  • Limit your salt intake to 1 teaspoon a day.

Making a lifestyle change is an effort. It is a long-term commitment that must be made in order to be in good health. Making smaller changes will bring faster results than making drastic changes all at once and losing commitment along the way. Before starting the DASH diet, consult a nutritionist who can help you establish an individual program for you.

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