DASH is an acronym that stands for Dietary Approaches to Stopping Hypertension and as the name explains, it is a diet specifically designed to treat or prevent diabetes. Hypertension or high blood pressure affects over a billion people globally and has been called the silent killer due to its deadliness in killing victims after relatively mild symptoms.
The DASH diet is scientifically proven to help manage the condition and is endorsed by America’s National Heart, Lung, and Blood as an effective measure.
It is very flexible and inclusive as it does not restrict any major food groups and these traits have seen it grow to become one of the most popular diet as it considered and effective but easy to follow lifestyle change.
The process for the DASH diet
The DASH diet recommends shifting to taking more fruits and vegetables while consuming only whole grains. Protein needs are met though lean meats and legumes while low fat dairy products are allowed. Nuts can be a good complement and snack on the diet.
The diet is very strict on salt intake as it recommends cutting to a daily maximum of between three quarters to one teaspoon. Sugar, red meat and fat also need to watched on this plan.
Alcohol is allowed but in moderation as excessive drinking has been documented to worsen hypertension. One crucial aspect to remember is calorie intake as below 2000 is considered a safe bet. Light exercise is recommended on the diet and is believed to optimise the benefits of the diet.
- Apart from treating and preventing hypertension, the diet is good for diabetes and cancer prevention
- It is very flexible and easy to follow in the long term
- Some food items such as fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains might be expensive
Who should do it
The diet is designed and targets those with or at risk of high blood pressure and it has been observed to be effective in help alleviate the condition. Its flexibility and very few restrictions have made the DASH diet very popular though with individuals personalising it to fit goals such as weight loss by incorporating low calorie intake or exercise. Its many benefits and flexibility means it remains a favourite on expert recommendations, especially as a starting point.
Diet plan ideas
Breakfast – Spinach, Mushroom And Feta Cheese Scramble
Lunch – Southwestern Style Rice Bowl
Dinner – Asian Beef And Noodles
Breakfast – Breakfast Bread Pudding
Lunch – Apple-Swiss Panini
Dinner – Grilled Pesto Shrimp Skewers
Breakfast – Whole wheat Pumpkin Pancakes
Lunch – Southwestern Black Bean Cakes With Guacamole
Dinner – Sesame-Honey Chicken And Quinoa Bowl