The DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) has been ranked one of the top diets for the past 9 years by US News & World Report. The DASH diet plan was developed in 1992 to see if dietary changes could lower blood pressure without medication. Researchers at the US National Institutes of Health found that the DASH diet could lower blood pressure with dietary approaches in people with high blood pressure levels. Since then, numerous studies have shown that the DASH diet reduces the risk of many diseases, including some kinds of cancer, stroke, heart disease and diabetes, too. It has been proven to be an effective way to lose weight while improving health at the same time.
What is the DASH diet?
DASH is a flexible and nutritionally balanced eating plan that helps create a heart-healthy lifestyle, not just a quick fix diet. The DASH diet recommends:
- Eating a diet rich in vegetables, fruits and whole grains
- Include fat-free and low-fat dairy products, fish, poultry, beans, nuts, and heart-healthy oils like olive, corn and sunflower
- Limit foods that are high in saturated fat, such as fatty meats (fatty cuts of beef, pork and lamb; dark chicken meat and poultry skin), full fat dairy products, and tropical oils like coconut and palm oils
- Limit sugar-sweetened beverages and sweets
A typical meal includes colorful fruits and vegetables, paired up with protein-rich foods to fill you up and keep you feeling full longer.
Daily DASH Eating Plan
The DASH plan recommends the following daily servings:
Control Blood Pressure
The DASH eating plan is just one key part of a healthy lifestyle; combining it with other lifestyle choices can help you control your blood pressure for life.
To help prevent and control high blood pressure consider the following: Do moderate physical activity as many days of the week as possible, maintain a healthy weight and if you smoke…quit.
To help make lifestyle changes, try making one change at a time and add another when you feel that you have successfully adopted the earlier changes. When you practice several healthy lifestyle habits, you are more likely to achieve and maintain healthy blood pressure, improving your overall health.