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The Dash Diet

by Georgia Ede
Published: Last Updated on

The diet to regulate high blood pressure and improve your cardiovascular health!

The Dash diet is so called because it stands for “Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension ” that is, a diet to stop hypertension . It is a diet low in salt , saturated fat and cholesterol . It is also based on the consumption of fruits and vegetables,  and low-fat dairy .

It also highlights the importance of nuts, legumes and cereals . It targets the consumption of certain foods such as red meat, sweets and simple sugars and those foods to which large amounts of sugar are added, such as sweetened beverages, soft drinks and juices.

This dietary plan whose objective is to demonstrate that with the diet we can control the correct blood pressure levels , in addition it raises the possibility of losing weight while it is carried out. What more can we ask for? A healthy diet for our body, for blood pressure, and that makes us lose weight . Well, the fact of having blood pressure controlled in recommended values, makes many other aspects of our body are regulated; such is the case of headaches, dizziness, swelling, varicose veins, osteoporosis, certain types of cancer, etc.

What is this diet plan based on?

The DASH system bases the diet on cereals (whole grains if possible), fruits and vegetables, fish, meats and low-fat dairy products. We must pay special attention to the recommended amounts of each type of food since it is a hypocaloric diet ; although not precisely to lose weight, but to reduce tension levels.

The diet does not completely eliminate the consumption of salt , but we must bear in mind that food, in itself, already contains sodium. The diet aims to control the consumption of certain foods rich in sodium such as instant soups, pickled products, tinned food, salted meats and sausages.

It advises to reduce the consumption of salt to 1.5 grams per day , with this amount it is allowed to season the dishes and give it greater taste; which is what salt is used for. If you normally consume more salt, gradually reduce the salt since otherwise it will produce an unpleasant effect on the meals, since you will not find flavor in them. In the same way, if it is radically reduced, by medical prescription, this takes a few weeks to disappear, since the body gets used to and adapts easily. The Dash diet advises using other types of condiments such as garlic or certain spices to flavor our meals.

The consumption of fruits and vegetables usually already contributes to lower blood pressure levels due to their contribution of mineral salts such as magnesium and potassium , in addition the consumption of fruits to the detriment of other foods that do not provide carbohydrates produces a positive effect on the body as it makes us consume fewer calories and also have a high satiating power , are low in sodium and high in potassium and have a very powerful antioxidant power . It is advisable to consume fruits that provide vitamin C as it helps lower blood pressure levels more quickly.

The following daily servings are scheduled according to the type of food:

  • Cereals, nuts (whole grain) 3 servings.
  • Vegetables: 4 servings.
  • Fruits: 5 servings.
  • Dairy: 3 servings.
  • Meats: 1 serving.
  • Fish: 2 servings.

Part of the basis of including the largest amount of fresh unprocessed foods to our diet. In other words, avoid frozen, precooked products, etc.

You should not consume sweets , industrial pastries, foods rich in fats, foods with hydrogenated fats or trans fats. It is advisable not to consume carbohydrates in excess, and to choose fresh foods from our land, such as fruits, vegetables, legumes and cereals. The meat is preferable to consume the white meats to the red ones and especially the lean parts, never the fats.

It is advisable to cook in the oven, grill or steam and not fry or batter since we fill up with calories by adding fat to our food.

When will I start to notice its effects?

After two weeks following the diet, we will be able to observe the first decreases in pressure levels.

It is advisable to do moderate exercise , if possible aerobic for more than 45 minutes a day, well walk, run, aerobics, ride a bicycle, dance, etc. Choose the one you like best and play sports, it will lower your blood pressure levels and burn calories.

This nutritional plan makes special mention of healthy habits that help lower blood pressure as a basis that complements the diet. Among them we can highlight:

– Eat at least 5 meals a day, the first three of the day being the most powerful and the rest being lighter.

– Eat slowly, chewing each bite well, to avoid flatulence and other complications of the digestive system such as heavy digestions.

– Concentrate on food, do not eat watching television or working as it takes longer for the body to detect when it is satiated.

Remedy your hypertension and gain life!

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