The DASH Diet Eating Plan

What To Eat With The DASH Diet

The Complete Beginner's Guide to the DASH Diet
It affects 1 in 3 Americans over the age of 18 years old. Home Health News Weight Loss. This article is a detailed review of the DASH diet, which was designed to combat high blood pressure and reduce people's risk of heart disease. Essentially, the DASH Diet was originally conceived as a way to lower blood pressure hypertension but has since been recognized as being beneficial for a wide array of health concerns. In people with normal blood pressure, it reduced blood pressure by three points 5. C heck out our blog , and don't forget to join our free online support group on Facebook.

Starting the DASH Diet

Best DASH Diet Recipes

Because it emphasizes eating whole foods that are naturally low in unhealthy fats and added sugars, as well as moderate portions, it may also lead to weight loss. There are several benefits to following the DASH diet: For a healthier ticker, be sure to limit how much of these sodium-packed foods you eat.

Some people may be troubled by the fact that it does not outline a specific way to lose weight. Most Popular in Diet and Nutrition.

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This is in line with other studies that have found that restricting salt intake can reduce blood pressure, especially in those who have high blood pressure However, it's important to note that a decrease in blood pressure does not always translate to a decreased risk of heart disease or death The DASH diet has been shown to reduce blood pressure, regardless of whether people lose weight or not.

However, if you already have high blood pressure, chances are you have been advised to lose weight. This is because the more you weigh, the higher your blood pressure is likely to be 12 , 13 , Additionally, losing weight has been shown to lower blood pressure 15 , Some studies have shown that people can lose weight on the DASH diet 17 , 18 , However, those who have lost weight on the DASH diet have been in a controlled calorie deficit, meaning they were told to eat fewer calories than they were using.

Given that the DASH diet cuts out lots of high-fat, sugary foods, people may find that they automatically reduce their calorie intake and lose weight.

Other people may have to consciously restrict their intake Either way, if you want to lose weight on the DASH diet, you'll still need to reduce your calorie intake so you're taking in fewer calories than you are using up. It's well documented that the DASH diet can help lower blood pressure. However, the diet has additional benefits. Many of these protective effects have been attributed to the high fruit and vegetable content of the DASH diet.

This is because, in general, eating more fruits and vegetables is linked to a reduced risk of disease 27 , 28 , 29 , One of the key findings of DASH diet studies was that the greatest reductions in blood pressure were seen in those with the lowest intakes of salt. While this is interesting, the benefits of salt restriction on health and lifespan are not clear cut.

For people with high blood pressure, reducing salt intake has been shown to significantly affect blood pressure 6. However, in people who have normal blood pressure, the effects of reducing salt intake are much smaller This could partly be explained by the theory that some people are "salt sensitive," meaning some people are more sensitive to salt and that it has a greater effect on their blood pressure Eating too little salt has been linked to health problems, such as an increased risk of heart disease, insulin resistance and fluid retention.

However, it's currently unclear whether there are any benefits to reducing salt intake this low, even in people with high blood pressure In fact, a recent review found that the current evidence doesn't show a link between salt intake and the risk of death from heart disease.

This is despite the fact that lowering salt intake caused a modest reduction in blood pressure Overall, most people eat too much salt. This means lowering your salt intake from very high amounts of 9—12 grams a day to 5—6 grams a day may be beneficial 6. This target can be achieved easily by reducing the amount of highly processed food in your diet and eating mostly whole foods.

Instead, it recommends a dietary pattern that focuses on the number of servings of different food groups. The number of servings you can eat depends on how many calories you need to eat to achieve your goals. Below is an explanation of the number of servings you should be aiming for, based on a 2,calorie diet. Examples of whole grains include whole wheat or whole grain breads, whole grain breakfast cereals, brown rice, bulgur, quinoa and oatmeal. All vegetables are allowed on the DASH diet.

This includes broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, green beans and cabbage, to name a few. If you're following the DASH approach, you'll be eating a lot of fruit. Examples of fruits you can eat include apples, pears, peaches, berries and tropical fruits like pineapple and mango. Dairy products on the DASH diet should be low in fat. Examples include skim milk and low-fat cheese and yogurt. Choose lean cuts of meat and try to eat a serving of red meat only occasionally, no more than once or twice a week.

These include foods like almonds, peanuts, hazelnuts, walnuts, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, kidney beans, lentils and split peas. The DASH diet recommends that you choose vegetable oils over other oils. These include margarines and oils like canola, corn, olive or safflower. They also recommend you choose low-fat mayonnaise and light salad dressing. Added sugars are kept to a minimum on the DASH diet, so limit your intake of candy, soda and table sugar. The DASH diet also requires you to limit unrefined sugars and alternative sugar sources, like agave nectar.

Outside of measured fresh fruit juice portions, this diet recommends you stick to low-calorie drinks like water , tea and coffee. If you're thinking about trying the DASH approach for your blood pressure, then you might have a few questions about other aspects of your lifestyle. The DASH diet doesn't prescribe specific guidelines for coffee. However, some people worry that caffeinated beverages like coffee may increase their blood pressure.

It's well known that caffeine can cause a short-term increase in blood pressure Furthermore, this rise is greater in people with high blood pressure 34 , However, a recent review found that despite coffee causing a short-term 1—3 hours increase in blood pressure, it didn't increase the long-term risk of high blood pressure or heart disease For most healthy people with normal blood pressure, 3—4 regular coffees per day are considered safe

DASH Eating Plan