DASH Diet Plan

The prevalence of hypertension affected the worldwide population and has been considerably threatening the lives of a silent killer. Lifestyle modification is the primary step in the prevention of hypertension. DASH diet is indeed a good option for a hypertensive patient.

What the DASH is diet and how it helps hypertension patient

DASH diet is a Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet that is often recommended by doctors to reduce the risk or impact of heart disease, hypertension, strokes and help to manage PCOS symptoms. DASH can help you lower the blood pressure because it has low sugar and salt than a normal diet and it also cuts out fats, red meat, processed meat, and dessert and sweetens beverages. Adapting the DASH eating plan can reduce blood pressure by 8–14 mmHg.

DASH diet stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension.

From U.S National Library of Medicine

Hypertension (high blood pressure) is the pressure of blood against the walls of your artery. After some time, high blood pressure can cause blood vessel damage that leads to heart disease, stroke, eye problems, kidney disease, and other problems. Hypertension is also known as the “silent killer” because it causes no symptoms and can go hidden and untreated for years.

A diet that has a major similarity with the low-fat diet along with numerous healthy food options. It is also convenient for people who want to lose weight or to adopt a healthy lifestyle.

Origin of DASH Diet

In 1940 when there was not any medication Walter Kempner created ‘’Kempner’s rice diet’’ to treat several hypertensive patients. This was a salt-restricted diet that recommended the people to consume rice and fruit juices. Conscientious results were shown for the improvement of hypertension, heart enlargement and kidney disorders.

In the United States for the last 50 years, there had been a rapid increase in cardiovascular and hypertensive patients. Almost 40% of people in the United States were at a high risk of critical health conditions as heart or renal failure, stroke, and impaired vision. This elevation leads the major organizations to investigate the issue of the rising epidemic situation.

With the tremendous funded researches in 1992, the National Institute of Health (NIH) proposed the reduction of hypertension without medications only by cutting the sodium intake and encouraging potassium consumption. They found that the DASH diet was capable to reduce systolic pressure for approximately 6-11mm Hg in hypertensive as well as healthy people.

DASH diet has been rated among the top diets by the U.S. News & World Report experts while the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans suggest that the DASH diet is a model eating plan for a healthy lifestyle. Soon, the DASH diet became a research-based recommendation by renowned health associations as:

  • The American Heart Association
  • The Dietary Guidelines for Americans
  • US Guidelines for treatment of high blood pressure.

DASH Diet Evolutionary Perceptions

In the beginning, the DASH diet was summed up as a hypertensive management tool to control the systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Latest researches advanced the perception about the DASH diet that it not only assists to lessen blood pressure but also the cholesterol level while enhancing the insulin sensitivity.

The DASH eating pattern is now presented to be higher in nutrients that are involved in the deflation of blood pressure majorly potassium, calcium, magnesium and fiber. Contrastingly, it encourages to lessen the intake of sodium and make it to 2300 milligrams per day as sodium is a hypertension booster.

How does a diet affect your blood pressure?

Certain foods can increase or lower your blood pressure. Your diet has a huge effect on hypertension, so you can help yourself by changing your eating plan, style, or habit. An anti-hypertension diet(DASH diet) can help control blood pressure is rich in magnesium, potassium, calcium, and fiber and lower in sodium.

How does reducing salt intake lowers blood pressure?

Reducing salt intake under 5gm/day can bring about a decrease in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure of > 10 mmHg.

What are the foods I should eat on DASH diet?

The goal is 5-9 servings of fruits and vegetables per day to get the recommended amount of fiber and benefits from all the healthy nutrients containing in these type of foods. Protein and carbohydrate come from various foods. Here are a non-exhausted DASH diet food list:

  • Fruits (fresh, frozen-especially bananas, or canned without added salt)
  • Vegetables (fresh, frozen, or canned, no added salt)
  • Fish and seafood
  • Lean meat
  • Skinless chicken and turkey
  • Calcium-rich foods can lower blood pressure(skim or 1% milk, yogurt, Greek yogurt)
  • Cooked hot cereal (not instant) and Low-salt, ready-to-eat cereals
  • Low-salt and low-fat cheeses
  • Richly colored green, Leafy greens, orange, and red items are high in potassium and minerals that help lower blood pressure include: beets, romaine lettuce, spinach, turnip greens, arugula, kale, collard greens, Swiss chard, beet greens
  • Plain rice, pasta, and potatoes
  • Pieces of bread (muffins, rolls, bagels, and tortillas)
  • Mineral-rich foods that lower blood pressure-unsalted seeds (pumpkin, squash, sunflower) and unsalted nuts-pistachio.

What are the foods I should avoid on DASH diet?

  • Reduce salt or sodium intake-salted snacks
  • Whole milk dairy products
  • Margarine and butter
  • Regular salad dressings
  • Deli meats
  • Fatty meats
  • Fried foods
  • Fast foods
  • Canned soups

Serving suggestions for the DASH diet

FoodsServing per day
DASH diet sodium recommendationsNo more than 2,300 mg on a normal diet or 1,500 mg on a low-sodium diet
Vegetables4 to 5
Fruit4 to 5
Lean meat, poultry, and fish6
Dairy (low-fat)2 to 3
Whole grain6 to 8
Healthy fats (avocado, ghee, extra virgin oil)2 to 3
Recommended foods intake on a dash diet

Exercises for the dash diet

Exercising for 3 hours weekly will give great results. The best practice is to combine low-intensity sport with moderate-intensity workouts to have a heart that is in good shape. Although weight lifting and other high-intensity workouts can benefit most people, the ones who suffer from hypertension should always consult a physician before trying these activities. No need to exceed one hour per day and it is important to plan enough recovery time during the most difficult workout. A 40 minutes walk followed by 15 minutes of stretching, yoga, cycling, one hour of hiking, and swimming are perfectly fine for the ones that follow a DASH diet.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *