DASH is an acronym that stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. The DASH diet has been ranked as the best diet by the U.S. News & World Report for 8 consecutive rankings. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) suggests this diet for all Americans as an ideal plan.
Here’s a brief look at what this diet includes:
Lots of fruits
Low-fat dairy foods
Red meat, added fats, and sugar-laden drinks and foods are restricted. This diet aims to assist individuals with high blood pressure without medication. A DASH diet motivates a person to consume less sodium and raise their calcium, magnesium, and potassium intake. This, in turn, manages the blood pressure. Here are some benefits of following this diet plan:
1. Controlling blood pressure
There has been a rise in the cases of hypertension in recent times, which increases the risk of heart failure, kidney illness, stroke, and heart attack. Research shows that patients with hypertension showed a drop of 11mm Hg on an average in systolic BP and 6mm Hg in diastolic BP by following the DASH diet for 8 weeks. This diet minimizes the intake of sodium, which can increase the blood pressure in some people.
There are two versions of the DASH diet:
Consume as much as 2,300 mg of sodium every day
Consume up to 1,500 mg of sodium every day
The government of the country recommends people to restrict their intake of sodium to 2,300 mg per day.
2. Daily calorie intake
The range of a DASH diet is from 1,699 to 3,100 calories, which is the ideal calorie intake for an individual. The suggested servings for 2,000 calories/day in a DASH diet are as follows:
6 to 8 servings of grains a day
4 to 5 servings of vegetables a day
4 to 5 servings of fruits a day
2 to 3 servings of dairy products a day
4 to 5 servings of nuts, seeds, and legumes per week
2 to 3 servings of fats and oils a day
5 or fewer servings of sweets per week
3. Minimizes heart issues
This diet minimizes the risk of heart diseases for up to 10 years. Its objective is to provide nutrients to minimize blood pressure, and antioxidant-rich food prevents stroke, heart illness, and cancer.
4. Good for bone health
It improves bone strength by elevating the intake of calcium in the diet, which helps in preventing osteoporosis.
5. Lowers cholesterol
It lowers the consumption of fat and substitutes simple sugars with complex carbs, which reduces LDL cholesterol and keeps blood pressure under control.
6. Minimizes uric acid levels
It helps in lowering uric acid levels, preventing gout.
The DASH diet is recommended to prevent hypertension, heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis, stroke, diabetes, and gout. It concentrates on a wide range of food varieties, portion sizes, and the appropriate nutrients through diet. Its primary objective is to keep blood pressure under control, but it also assists individuals who are keen on losing weight. It also helps manage/prevent diabetes and decrease cholesterol levels.