What is The Dash Diet?
The so-called DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) has actually been around for some time and has gained recent popularity. The diet was created based on research from the United States National Institutes of Health and was originally designed as a way for, people with hypertension, to reduce blood pressure.
Since its start, the (search at amazon “1455512796”) DASH diet, has been shown to reduce the risk of many diseases, including cancer, heart disease and diabetes. Along with this, the DASH diet can also help with healthy and sustainable weight loss.
The diet has undergone some modifications over the years. Originally it was quite high in grains and carbohydrates, now it’s been modified to fit better with the principles of controlled carbohydrate weight loss.
The new DASH diet cuts back into “empty carbohydrates” and includes more protein and essential fats. The diet is recommended by leading health authorities such as:
- The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (one of the National Institutes of Health
- Department of Health and Human Services guidelines), the American Heart Association
- The Dietary Guidelines for Americans, and the United States for the treatment of high blood pressure.
The great thing about the DASH diet is that it is both sensitive and easy to maintain. It’s not just another fad. In fact, DASH was ranked number one on the diet by US News and World Report in 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014.
Read on to learn more about incorporating DASH diet principles into your life…
Based on Evidence
This diet came out of the National Institutes of Health’s studies that examined three diet plans and their effects. The DASH plan, which involves:
- Fruits and vegetables,
- Low-fat or nonfat dairy
- Beans and nuts
The diet was able to reduce systolic blood pressure by 6 mm Hg and diastolic blood pressure by 3 mm Hg in patients with pre-hypertension. These changes also happened regardless of changes in weight.
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Two experimental diets were selected for the DASH diet study and compared to each other. The third diet, which was low in minerals and fiber and represented a more typical American diet, was used as a control.
The other experimental diet was similar to the control diet, but it also contained fruits and vegetables.
The DASH diet was high in fruits and vegetables and low-fat dairy products. It also had the lowest total fat and saturated fat, and highest in fiber and protein compared to diet control.
The diet also allowed small amounts of sugars and sweets, in contrast to other diets, which included more liberal amounts. Since its inception, the DASH diet has been studied and proven to help prevent many chronic diseases.
The Dash Diet Is Sustainable
What separates the DASH diet from other diet plans is its sensitivity and sustainability. There is nothing completely prohibited in the DASH diet and not cutting whole food groups. It is easy to follow and fits most lifestyles and preferences. Depending on the degree of weight loss you need, the DASH diet can be modified by adjusting its calorie content.
Who should follow the DASH diet?
The DASH diet is really for anyone who wants to follow a health lifestyle and prevent illness. The following groups will benefit specifically:
People at risk for chronic diseases. Some people may have a family history or some other propensity for hypertension, cardiovascular disease or cancer. Although this group may not present with any clinical problems, following the DASH diet can help prevent future problems that arise.
Hypertensive patients. Since the DASH diet was originally designed for people with chronically high blood pressure (hypertension), diet can be followed as an alternative to medication or as a complement to medication where they can not control their blood pressure through diet alone.
People wishing to delay aging. Since the DASH diet is rich in antioxidants from fruits and vegetables, it provides a good basis for an anti-aging plan by being rich in a variety of antioxidants against aging.
Athletes and physically very active people. As this is a higher-carbohydrate form of eating, the DASH diet is a great way for active people and athletes to gain extra energy from glucose in a calorie-controlled, nutrient-rich plan.
Families. Since this diet does not restrict any food group and is sensible and balanced, the whole family can enjoy its benefits. Cooking in a friendly way DASH ensures that children get off to a good start and learn healthy eating habits from childhood.
DASH Basic Principles
The DASH diet is a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. It also encourages whole grains as well as lean meats, fish and poultry. Vegetarian protein sources of nuts, seeds and legumes are another important feature. The diet also restricts your sodium intake to the right levels.
The DASH diet provides for people who want to eat and control general healthy diseases, people who want to lose weight specifically and also for vegetaria
References: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute