You may probably hear of the term DASH diet, which actually means Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. Us based National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, a part of the National Institutes of Health(NIH) develops this pattern. In recent years, the US News and the World have ranked the DASH diet is one of the best diets for human health.
The key purposes of the DASH diet to lower your blood pressure and control cholesterol. Moreover, it can help your weight loss and effectively manage diabetes. Unites States Department of Agriculture(USDA) recommends it as a proper healthy eating plan beyond any age, sex, and ethnically diverse groups. Actually, it belongs to one of the three healthy diets mentioned in the 2015-2020 US Dietary Guidelines.
What is DASH Diet
The National |Institues of Health(NIH) provides some guidelines on DASH diet. Commonly, it includes fruits, everyday vegetables, low-fat or even fat-free dairy, daily servings of whole grains, poultry, fish. Also, they recommend a limited number of sweet and fat. DASH diet encourages intake limited amounts of sodium and sweets which are mostly present in drinks and red meat. It results in controlling saturated and trans saturated fat. At the same time, the increasing number of potassium, magnesium, vitamins, nutrients, protein. These ingredients help to control to balance blood pressure.
A Balance Sheet of DASH Diet
According to the DASH diet, there is some specific number of servings based on some numeric categories i.e. 1600, 2000, or 2600 calories each day. A complete plan for 2000 calories daily is like:
- Whole Grain: Preferably 6-8 servings of grains or whole grains related products
- Fruits: Best limits 4-5 servings per day
- Vegetable: Perfect servings of vegetables are 4-5 per day
- Low-Fat Dairy Foods: 2-3 servings each day
- Fats and Oils: Best fit 2-3 servings
- Meat, Poultry, or Fish: Per day 2 servings or even lower
- Nuts, Seeds, or Dry Beans: 4-5 servings (weekly)
- Sweets and Related Foods: 5 Servings (Weekly)
Yet, there are some conflicting data on low-fat dairy foods. While, some researchers say a positive effect, while some others emphasize detrimental effects. People with allergies or lactose-intolerance should prefer lactose-free products. Meanwhile, the should prioritize seeds over nuts in their menu. Also, there are some studies suggest that plant-based proteins reduce mortality risks. By limiting high fiber foods and replacing carbohydrates with protein can greatly help controlling gas and bloating. If you are suffering of hypertension or not, you can content blood pressure with a reduction of sodium intake.
Two Types of DASH Diet
There are two types of DASH diet based on consuming sodium each day. Usually, people in the US consume a higher amount of sodium exceed up to 3,600mg each day.
The Standard Version of DASH Diet: Under this type of DASH diet people are allowed to consume up to 2,300 mg of sodium per day to decrease the amount of sodium.
The Low Sodium DASH Diet: It allows you to take a fewer amount of sodium. You can intake a maximum of 1,500 mg of sodium per day.
So, it is clear both of the types aim to decrease sodium consumption, a precondition for your healthy lifestyle. Next, potassium is an important element to help your blood vessels relax and lower blood pressure. As you intake less salt, you should consume more foods that are rich in potassium. On average 4,700mg of potassium is a good amount to intake per day.
What Are the Benefits of DASH Diet
DASH diet can help to lower your cholesterol and control your high blood pressure or hypertension. Moreover, hypertension increases the risk of heart attack or heart failure in anywhere and anytime. It may also cause stroke, kidney disease, and many other problems in the human body.
Starting in 2017, DASH diet targets to boost the health of the population drastically in the next 20 years. According to a study, people with extremely high blood pressure should follow the DASH diet properly. It is programmed to resist approximately 400,000 deaths from cardiovascular disease within the time frame of the 10 years.
The effect of DASH diet on your cholesterol is still remarkable. The LDL (low-density lipoprotein) sometimes called “bad” cholesterol obstructs blood circulations. On the other hand, the HDL (high-density lipoprotein) or “good” cholesterol transports the cholesterol to the liver to bring them out. Subsequently, both the categories are important factors of cholesterol levels to determine your health risk.
In a comparison between the DASH diet and the standard Western control diet, the DASH diet helps LDL to drop nearly 11 points. At the same time, a little effect on HDL, but no problem on triglycerides.
One thing that is very convenient about DASH diet is that you can modify the diet level as per your requirements. For example, if your LDL is in alarming portion, you should replace red meat with more fish and soy-based foods. But, if you running on low HDL, it needs an immediate increase of this element. And foods like olive oil, nuts, etc. that are full of monounsaturated fats will help you.
Who Can Benefit From DASH Diet
People with the following disorder are the beneficiaries from DASH diet:
- Blood Pressure: Who suffers from high blood pressure
- Blood Sugar: Presence of a high amount of sugar in the blood
- Triglycerides: Triglycerides, or fat, in the blood
- LDL: High amount of low-density lipoprotein or “bad” cholesterol
- Insulin Resistance: People with insulin resistance are unable to use insulin properly
The above things are the major features of metabolic syndrome in the human body. Meanwhile, it is a situation that causes obesity, risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and other types of serious problems.
Back in 2013, a study ran on some people with and without metabolic syndrome found the following results. Then, they were asked to follow the DASH diet for about 8 weeks to see the results.
People With Metabolic Syndrome: The study found the presence of systolic pressure in their body fell by 4.9 millimeters of mercury. At the same time, on average the diastolic fell by 1.9mm HG.
People Without Metabolic Syndrome: The researcher could see systolic pressure fell by 5.2mm Hg and the diastolic fell by 2.9mm HG.
In a nutshell, the DASH diet is greatly helpful for people with or without metabolic syndrome at lowering blood pressure. Apparently, some other studies also find that it reduces the possibility of colorectal cancer. Even, the National Kidney Foundation of the US recommends the DAsH diet for kidney patients.
DASH Diet and Blood Pressure
This is very important to keep the blood pressure at a normal level. When your heart is pumping blood, it happens systolic pressure. And the diastolic pressure occurs normally your heart is resting between beats on a regular basis.
Current guidelines from the American College of Cardiology consider normal blood pressure reading of 120/80mm Hg.
Stage 1 hypertension suggests systolic reading is 130-139, and diastolic is 80-89. When the systolic is 140 or above, and diastolic is 90 or above, it indicates stage 2 hypertension. Hypertension crisis starts if the systolic is over 180 and the diastolic is over 120.
It has been established by many studies that DASH diet is very much effective in reducing blood pressure to a comfortable level. The statement by the National Institutes of Health reveals that it can reduce blood pressure only within 14 days.
DASH Diet and Cholesterol
Your body needs a level of cholesterol to function your organs properly. But, it creates trouble when you have exceeded this level too much. In fact, extra cholesterol can stick to the wall of your arteries, make them narrow, or even cause blocking of your arteries. Ultimately, it may result in severe chest pain, sudden heart attack & heart failure.
You will find cholesterol travels through lipoproteins, whereas high LDL contributes to the extreme presence of cholesterol in your arteries. But the HDL helps to carry the cholesterol from your whole body to your liver. Later, the liver drives away the unnecessary cholesterol from your body and keep balance.
Some of the major components of the DASH diet greatly help to balance your cholesterol level. You can have lots of fiber from fruits and vegetables, grains; especially whole grains, nuts, beans, etc. Moreover, absorbing of lots of fish and leaner cuts of meat can help to lower your cholesterol level. You should also limit the eating of sweets and refined carbohydrates.
Apart from that, weight management and regular physical exercise can keep your cholesterol levels in control. Still, if you feel of an excessive amount of high cholesterol, you should communicate a doctor with no delay. As high cholesterol in your arteries may cause a serious and sudden accident in your life.
Any Effect on Weight Lose?
Yes, DASH diet has a slight effect on weight loss. Like, the people who want to lose weight, it is a great option to reach their target. If you wish to lose weight, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institue (NHLBI) suggests you to reduce calories in an orderly manner. But, they recommend eating less meat, but more fruits, vegetables, and grains. You should candies chips and other types of fast food. The calorie chart from the NHLBI’s DASH eating plan will greatly help you in your journey.
DASH Diet Plan in Details- Lowering Your Blood Pressure and Cholesterol
The DASH diet helps lower your blood pressure at a standard level and control your cholesterol level to keep fit your heart. Even, you don’t have any high blood pressure, DASH diet brings multiple health benefits.
Salt: Need to Reduce
An increasing number of salt build-up fluids in your body which creates extra pressure on your heart. With the specific DASH diet plan, you are obedient to lower your sodium to 2,300 or1,500 milligrams a day. For that, you need to take low-sodium foods and limited processed foods as they are often high in sodium.
Grains: Preferably Whole Grain
Whole grains i.e. rice, wheat, cereals, pasta, oatmeal, etc. are the major sources of fiber that help to lower your cholesterol. It keeps your body energetic for the whole day.
Vegetables: A Great Source of Nutrition
Vegetables are free of lots of calories or fat but full of vitamins, fiber, minerals. Generally, green vegetables are smeared with nutrition. You may add salad in the everyday meals to have extra vigor in your daily activities. One should not neglect the vegetables as an essential part of DASH diet plan.
Fruits: Good For Health
They are very natural and there is a high presence of fiber and vitamins in fruits. You can have potassium and magnesium that are helpful for lowering your blood pressure.
Yogurt: Have Some Low-fat Yogurt
Yogurt provides calcium and protein which helps to maintain healthy blood pressure. You should aware of high-fat dairy foods, rather it is important to take low-fat or no-fat dairy products available in your areas.
Lean Meats and Fish: High Source of Protein
You have the chance to eat lean meats and fish following the DASH diet plan. Better, you prefer the skinless chicken and fish on your menu.
Apart from that, you should keep keen eyes on fats, oils and closely monitor the number of sweets you’re eating every week. You also need to ensure that you are taking enough potassium.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Question 1: Can Everyone Follow DASH Diet?
Answer: Yes, DASH diet is not only good for the patients with the high blood pressure but also it is good for everyone. It helps to keep your body fit for the daily work and prevents diseases.
Questions 2: Do You Think, the DASH Foods are Costly?
Answer: Not at all, even they are available in everywhere.
Question 3: What Are the Benefits of DASH Diet?
Answer: It helps to manage your blood pressure and cholesterol level. Moreover, it also helps to lose weight and keep away from multiple diseases.
Question 4: How Much Popular the DASH Diet Is?
Answer: Actually, it is getting very popular among health-conscious people around the world.