High blood pressure has become a serious health concern over the years, affecting millions of people worldwide. In fact, cases of high blood pressure have doubled in the last 40 years with the numbers still rising and not going down anytime soon –unless we do something about it. This is where programs like the DASH diet can play a significant role in combating high blood pressure and reducing people’s risk of heart disease. Read on to learn more about what the DASH diet is all about, what it entails and the many benefits it offers.
What is the DASH diet?
Also known as Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, the DASH diet is a specific dietary strategy engineered by scientists and experts to help reduce high blood pressure, considering the fact that diet is one of the major factors responsible for the development of high blood pressure.
The main aim of the DASH diet is to shift one’s eating habits towards consuming delicious yet healthy foods, thereby preventing the development of hypertension or high blood pressure and reducing the risk of heart disease. It focuses on reducing sodium, saturated fat, added sugar and red meat while including more foods rich in calcium, potassium and magnesium. The diet also encourages the intake of a wide range of fruits and vegetables with high nutritional value, as well as lean protein sources like chicken, fish and beans.
With a controlled amount of sodium intake (no more than 1 teaspoon (2,300 mg) of sodium per day), studies have demonstrated that the DASH diet can lower blood pressure in as little as two weeks. Besides, the diet also helps lower LDL ‘bad’ cholesterol levels in the blood, which together with high blood pressure, are the two major risks of heart disease and stroke.
Proven Benefits of the DASH diet
Besides reducing high blood pressure, DASH diet is also known to benefit the human body in several different ways:
- Lowers Blood Pressure- As per a study, people on DASH diet were shown to experience a reduction in blood pressure despite not losing weight or restricting their salt intake. The blood pressure reduction level even went down further the moment their salt intake was restricted. Another study shows how DASH diet helps lower high blood pressure in just two weeks.
- Manages Weight- Since DASH diet also focuses on limiting the intake of saturated fat and added sugar, this may hold certain perks when it comes to losing weight. However, this may not be the case for everyone. People who want to lose weight on a DASH diet still need to go on a calorie-reduced diet.
- Lowers Diabetes Risk- Several studies have suggested that the DASH diet helps lower the risk of type 2 diabetes. Meanwhile, some studies have also shown that it can improve insulin resistance.
- Strengthens Bone Health- Since DASH diet is all about encouraging the consumption of foods rich in calcium, this benefits the health of the bone, making it stronger and preventing the development of osteoporosis.
- Lowers Metabolic Disorders Risk- Other benefits of the DASH diet include a lower risk of metabolic disorders such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, as well as cerebrovascular disease. This is mainly due to the balanced food intake that comes with the diet. It also helps lower total and LDL cholesterol in the blood.
- Decreases Cancer Risk- It has been demonstrated that people following a DASH diet have a lower risk of developing some cancers, including colorectal and breast cancer. Nonetheless, a high intake of fresh fruits and vegetables, which is the main focus of a DASH diet, has been associated with a lower risk of cancer in the long run.
- Lowers Gout Risk- A lowered risk of gout by reducing uric acid levels in subjects with hyperuricemia is an additional benefit of the DASH diet
Important things to know about the DASH diet
DASH diet is not a vegetarian diet per se, but it does, however, focus more on whole foods, fruits, vegetables and low or non-fat dairy products, as well as lean meats. It is also flexible and does not list specific foods to include but rather provides daily and weekly nutritional goals, with aspects including portion size, consuming a wide variety of healthy foods and getting the proper balance of nutrients.
Also, foods in the Dash diet are naturally low in sodium. So, just by adopting and following the diet, one is likely to lower their sodium intake. Consuming low-sodium foods may taste bland and different, and may take time for your palate to adjust but once it does, you would not have it any other way.
And not to mention, weight loss. DASH diet may not be originally engineered for weight management but it can be a great tool for it. However, not everyone may lose weight or have to do with the DASH diet. If a person wishes to lose weight, he or she should slowly reduce their calorie intake.
Adopting DASH diet at home
Since the DASH diet is known for its flexibility with no set restrictions, it is easy for anyone to adopt a DASH diet along with their current diet. Besides lowering your sodium intake, all you have to do is:
- Include more fruits and vegetables.
- Switch from refined grains to whole grains.
- Switch to vegetable oils.
- Choose low-fat or fat-free dairy products.
- Choose lean protein sources like poultry, fish, and beans over red meat.
- Reduce your intake of foods high in added sugars, saturated fats, processed foods, etc.
All in all, DASH diet is basically a wholesome balanced eating plan that does not put restrictions on any food group nor cut out any food items. It is easy to follow and is a great way to help create a heart-healthy eating style for life. Besides, all the foods are easily accessible and require no extra effort or money to adapt to your daily life.
With that being said, health issues like high blood pressure are rising by the minute, affecting not just the old but even young adults as well. Because of this, heart disease has also become a major health concern all over the world. Adopting healthy and sustainable measures like the DASH diet can come a long way for the health of the heart and overall health quality.
Taking Heart-healthy natural supplements like Cardigold Juice and Cholestoblast Capsules, alongside a healthy diet like DASH, can be extra beneficial for heart health. Made using 100% plant-based ingredients, these two products are the answer to reducing heart disease risk by providing the ultimate protection for the heart. They are rich in heart-healthy nutrients and are helpful in lowering blood pressure, reducing LDL ‘bad’ cholesterol, the strength and functioning of Arteries and ultimately, maintaining good blood circulation.