With new diets coming out so often, it tends to be hard to keep up with the latest fashion trends in eating. It can also be difficult to determine what will genuinely aid your health and what is just a fad. So in this article, I decided to discuss the DASH diet, what it is and its pros and cons.
What is The DASH Diet?
DASH is an acronym for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. High blood pressure (hypertension) is a big problem for a lot of people, and the DASH diet was thought up in an attempt to combat the issue.
The diet was designed to support research supported by the National Institute of Health or NIH. It has also been named the number 1 diet for the past six years. The Dash diet is also recommended by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.
The diet encourages people to lower their intake of sodium, calcium, and potassium and replace that with nutrient-rich foods. People with high hypertension can benefit from reducing their blood pressure by a few points in as little as two weeks from following the DASH diet.
Although the DASH diet was initially intended for those with hypertension, its healthy eating plan also offers a number of other benefits. It is also thought that it can prevent diabetes, osteoporosis and heart diseases.
DASH Diet For Weight Loss
As noted, the DASH diet was initially intended for lowering blood pressure. However, it has a significant emphasis on plant-based eating, making fruits and vegetables the primary source of nutrition. This not only makes this eating plan a great healthy option all round but is an excellent plan for those looking to lose a few pounds. The large portion of fruits and vegetables means that meals are tummy filling while remaining low on the calories.
The diet is also protein-rich which offers many benefits for weight loss like:
- Protein-rich meals make you feel fuller for longer
- Snacks and meals high in protein encourage weight loss while retaining lean muscle mass.
How to Start the DASH Diet?
When starting this eating plan, there are a few things you need to consider. First of all, what you eat will depend on the limits you intend to set yourself. If you are using the dash diet for weight loss, you may want to lower the allowed daily calories. A standard DASH diet allows around 2000 calories per day, for weight loss you may not want to let yourself consume more calories than this.
Also, the dash diet tends to be quite low in sodium. However, some people try to lower it even further.
What to Eat in DASH Diet?
1. Fruits – 5 portions a day
- Packed with vitamins and minerals
- One portion is ½ cup of fresh fruit
- Leave skins on fruit (where possible) for extra nutrition
- Have fruit as a snack or as dessert
- Avoid coconuts as they have a higher fat content
2. Vegetables – 5 portions a day
- Full of fiber and vitamins
- Try green leafy veggies like broccoli as well as salad vegetables like cucumber and tomato.
- Use vegetables as a main meal rather than merely a side dish.
- Leave skins on vegetables like carrots and potatoes for added nutrients.
- Frozen vegetable work just as well as fresh
3. Grains – 8 portions a day
- ½ cup of cereal, rice or pasta is one portion
- Try whole grains rather than refined grains
- Eat rice, pasta, bread or cereal
- Try without spreads or sauces to keep them low fat
4. Dairy – 2 portions a day
- Try yogurt, milk or cheese
- Stick to low-fat options
- Try to avoid too much cheese to keep sodium levels low
5. Nuts, seeds, and legumes – 2 portions a day
- Try peas, kidney beans, and lentils
- Almonds, hazelnuts or brazil nuts
- Sunflower seed, chia seeds,
- Eat nuts in moderation due to their high-fat content
6. Meat, chicken or fish – 6 portions a day
- Excellent source of protein and iron
- Trim fat from meat and remove the skin from poultry
- Avoid frying meat instead boil or break
So apparently the Dash diet is excellent for anyone looking to lower their blood pressure significantly. Also, it is great for everyone looking to live a healthier and leaner life. Besides the Dash Diet, you have to include Edamame in your meal too. Read our brief description on is Edamame good for you?
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Disclaimer: The information shared in the article is to our best of knowledge. We hold no responsibility, whatsoever, in case of any mismatching of the information with the facts. Please, research well before or consult a specialist before opting for any tips related to your health. We’ve done proper research before pointing you in this direction, but we are humans and can go wrong. So, please, take your safety in your hands and research thoroughly.