One of the most effective ways to manage and prevent High blood pressure is by making heart-healthy food choices. As Hippocrates rightly said, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”, what you eat has a significant impact on your health. The DASH diet offers several potential benefits, including weight loss and reduced cancer risk, lower cholesterol, and managing or preventing diabetes beyond lowering blood pressure.
You can manage your blood pressure by eating foods that are low in cholesterol, saturated fat, total fat, and high in fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy foods. The DASH eating plan includes whole grains, lean meat, fish, and nuts, and restricts red meats, sweets, and sugared beverages. It also contains high levels of potassium, calcium, and magnesium along with a focus fruits and vegetables. Potassium in particular is widely known for its ability to lower blood pressure.
Further, research suggests that consuming these minerals through foods yield more benefits than taking supplements. Another reason why the DASH is beneficial is due to its emphasis on plant-based diet. The use of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables in DASH increases the amount of fiber intake which helps reducing cholesterol levels which is important for blood pressure.
How to use the DASH eating plan?
The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) eating plan is simple to follow. Remember, a smart way to switch to the DASH eating plan is to make a note of your current eating habits. List down what you eat, how much, when, and why. Keeping track of your eating patterns will help you figure out where you can start making changes.
Trying to lose weight on the DASH eating plan? Follow this diet at a lower calorie level.
Remember, your calorie level depends on factors such as your age and activity level. Think of it like this: if you’re happy with your current weight, take in only as many calories as you burn by being physically active. If you’re looking to lose weight, eat lesser calories than you burn or increase your activity level to burn more off excess calories. Talk to a healthcare professional before making any drastic changes to your lifestyle.
Use the following list to understand the sorts of food the diet recommends you to eat, together with the number of servings per day. You can make adjustments based on your recommended calorie intake per day.
The DASH diet Recommended Servings
|Food Group||Daily servings||Daily servings||Daily servings|
|1,600 calories||2,000 calories||2,600 calories|
|Lean-meats, fish, poultry||3-6||Less than 6||6|
|Low-fat or no-fat dairy||2-3||2-3||3|
|Nuts, seeds, and legumes||3 (per week)||4-5 (per week)||1|
|Fats and oils||2||2-3||3|
|Sugar/Sweets||0||Less than 5 (per week)||Less than 2|
Here are the standard serving sizes based on the DASH eating plan
- 1 slice bread
- ½ cup cooked rice, barley, or couscous
- ½ cup cooked pasta
- (1 serving equals 1 ounce)
- 1 small banana, apple, or orange
- 1 medium peach
- 1 cup fresh berries
- ½ cup frozen, or canned fruit
- ½ cup unsweetened fruit juice
- 1 cup raw/ salad vegetables
- ½ cup cooked vegetable
- ½ cup vegetable juice
Lean-meats, fish, poultry
- 1 oz cooked meats, poultry, or fish
- 1 egg
Low-fat or no-fat dairy
- 1 cup milk or yogurt
- 1 low-fat, no-fat oz cheese
Nuts, seeds, and legumes
- ⅓ Cup or 1½ Oz nuts (raw or dry roasted)
- 2 Tbsp. peanut butter/ nut butter
- 2 Tbsp. or ½ Oz seeds
- ½ cup cooked legumes (dry beans and peas)
Fats and oils
- 1 tsp butter, soft margarine
- 1 tsp vegetable oil
- 1 Tbsp. mayonnaise
- 2 Tbsp. salad dressing
- 1 Tbsp. sugar
- 1 Tbsp. jelly or jam
- ½ cup sorbet, gelatin
- 1 cup lemonade
DASH can help you not only control high blood pressure but also prevent it. It also can aid weight loss. The DASH diet is designed to meet your nutritional needs and comes with health benefits for your heart. So get started today, and make the DASH for a healthy life. To know more, talk to out experts at DrNewMed.com