June 8, 2021

what is the dash diet?

By Health Plus

The DASH diet was developed by the National Institutes of Health based on research they sponsored on lowering blood pressure without medication. The acronym stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. When combined with physical activity, the DASH diet can help treat or prevent high blood pressure, and offers a lifelong approach to healthy eating.

Having high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a serious matter. It is largely symptomless and can put you at risk for a number of critical health issues including heart disease, chronic kidney disease, coronary artery disease, and stroke. Blood pressure refers to the pressure blood puts on the artery walls as it travels from your heart to other parts of the body. The pressure varies throughout the day but becomes a problem if it stays high or out of the normal range for an extended period of time.

To understand what constitutes a ‘normal’ blood pressure reading, the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association published new guidelines for assessing hypertension. The 2017 report listed two stages for high blood pressure; Stage 1 high blood pressure is at or above 130/80 mm Hg and Stage 2 is defined as a blood pressure at or above 140/90 mm Hg.

It is possible to manage or keep blood pressure numbers in a normal range by making certain lifestyle changes like increasing physical activity, not smoking and by following a DASH diet.

dash diet

The DASH diet is a simple approach to healthy eating that emphasizes fruits, vegetables and lean proteins and restricts red meat, salt, added sugars and fat. The DASH Diet does not list specific foods to eat but instead outlines specific servings of various food groups. Here is an overview of the recommendations:

  • Vegetables: Increase your servings of vegetables to four or five a day, making sure to include tomatoes, carrots, broccoli, sweet potatoes, and other deep green vegetables. These particular vegetables are full of fiber, vitamins and minerals like potassium and magnesium. Potassium helps ease tension in the blood vessel walls and helps lower blood pressure.
  • Fruits: Increase the servings of fruits in your diet to four to five a day. DASH recommends leaving on edible peels whenever possible. The peels of apples, pears and most fruits contain healthy nutrients and fiber.
  • Dairy: Switch to two to three servings of low fat dairy products a day and consume more fish like salmon and canned sardines to increase the calcium in your diet. Calcium helps blood vessels tighten and relax and is crucial for healthy bones.
  • Protein: Prepare meals with lean protein like poultry or fish and limit red meat to lean cuts and only have it occasionally and no more than once or twice a week.
  • Grains: Include four to five servings of grains, seeds and nuts per week. Almonds, peanuts, sunflower seeds or lentils are great sources of minerals, protein and fiber.
  • Sugar: Limit sugar sweetened beverages and sweets to five or fewer servings per week
  • Salt / Sodium: Limit or reduce sodium. Sodium should be capped at 2,300 milligrams a day. The goal is to eventually lower sodium to 1,500 milligrams a day.

ways to support this diet

The DASH diet is a simple approach to healthy eating that emphasizes fruits, vegetables and lean proteins and restricts red meat, salt, added sugars and fat. The DASH Diet does not list specific foods to eat but instead outlines specific servings of various food groups. Here is an overview of the recommendations:

When making any significant changes to your diet, it is always helpful to have a few coping strategies in your back pocket:

  • Make the changes gradually. Begin by adding one vegetable or fruit serving to every meal.
  • Reward your successes and forgive the slip-ups. Adopting healthy habits takes time. It is the end goal that counts!
  • Explore using new herbs or spices to make food tastier without having to salt the meal.
  • Add physical activity to your day. Increased activity helps lower blood pressure in combination with the DASH diet. 
  • Have a support system. To ensure success, involve family members, your health-care provider, and dietician in your journey. Continue to seek out what may work best for you by asking for tips from your healthcare professionals to help you stay on track.
  • Eat two or more meat-free meals every week.

The DASH diet is a balanced, long-term eating plan that offers plenty of variety in your meals. When combined with physical activity, it is an effective way to keep blood pressure in check and reduce your risk of heart disease. What better way to take control of your health for life.

supplements that may support The dash diet:

Every Day Fiber™
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Super Colon Cleanse®
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Super Colon Cleanse®
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Super Colon Cleanse®

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Pure Psyllium Husk Bag
Pure Psyllium Husk Bag
Pure Psyllium Husk Bag
Pure Psyllium Husk Bag
Pure Psyllium Husk Bag
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Pure Psyllium Husk Bag

Pure Psyllium Husk Bag

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Sources

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/dash-diet/art-20048456
https://www.webmd.com/hypertension-high-blood-pressure/guide/hypertension-symptoms-high-blood-pressure
https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/high-blood-pressure/understanding-blood-pressure-readings
https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/dash-eating-plan https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/key-minerals-to-help-control-blood-pressure https://www.cdc.gov/bloodpressure/facts.htm

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