If you are a regular visitor of our blog, you may have noticed that we promote the benefits of eating various fruits and being on different diets. You can read articles about the health benefits of bananas, honey, garlic, ginger, and more. Also, there are details about recommended diets for seniors, such as a Mediterranean diet.
However, you may also come across the DASH diet. There is a little information here and there about this type of diet, but not much.
Now you will learn more about the history of the diet, its health benefits, and the diet itself.
DASH Diet – The Basics
DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, and it is promoted by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
The DASH diet recommends avoiding red meat and food that is high in sugar content. The nutrition is based on plenty of fruits and vegetables, as well as fish, nuts, and whole grains.
Health Benefits of the DASH Diet
As the name suggests, the diet is designed to lower your blood pressure. Reportedly, there are around 50 million people in the US who have hypertension. Also, it is estimated that 13% of the Earth’s population suffers from high blood pressure.
Having hypertension for a longer period of time increases the risk of having a heart attack, stroke, or even kidney disease. Seniors are especially prone to these diseases and conditions, thus keeping a normal blood pressure is of great importance.
DASH Diet Plan
So let’s get down to the diet itself, and see what amounts of different types of foods you should eat, especially:
- Whole grains
- Dairy products
- Fish and meat
There is no better desert than a fruit. According to the DASH diet plan, 4 to 5 servings a day are enough. If you prefer having fruit juice, blend it by yourself. This way you will have all the vitamins and fiber you need without added sugar. Any fruits is fine:
It is also recommended to eat 4 to 5 servings of vegetables a day. They are the best source of minerals your body needs. Fresh vegetables are, of course, the healthiest, but frozen ones are great, too. Canned vegetables can contain high amount of sodium, so be careful when buying these. Vegetables I usually have on my plate are:
Whole grains are high in complex carbs, which are important for the body. Simple carbs (white bread, sugar) are the ones you want to avoid. Whole grains include brown rice, whole wheat bread, oatmeal, etc.
Calcium is important for strength and flexibility of the bones and can be found in dairy products. When choosing these, make sure they are low in saturated fats. There are plenty of low-fat milk products and types of cheese.
Fish and Meat
Meat is a significant source of protein, iron, and vitamin B12. However, eating meat over the recommended daily intake can lead to various cardiovascular problems. Moderate consumption, which means 1 or 2 servings a day, should satisfy your body’s need for proteins and doesn’t affect your blood pressure.
Fish, especially salmon and tuna, are high in omega-3 fatty acids and even proteins.
Nuts (and legumes) are rich in plant-based proteins and fiber. Certain nuts contain a lot of good fats, but should be eaten moderately. Also be careful with Brazil nuts. They are high in selenium so shouldn’t be eaten too much.
Daily Sodium Intake
The key thing in decreasing blood pressure is reducing the intake of sodium. According to the DASH diet plan, a person should not eat more than 2300 mg of sodium a day.
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