The Dash Diet - What is It?

The Dash Diet lowers your blood pressure and also maintains it once it is lowered. Dash stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. This diet has been known to lower your blood pressure by a couple points in just two weeks. The diet also could protect you against osteoporosis, heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes.

This is a low saturated fat, low cholesterol, and low sodium diet. The variety of foods you can eat will be rich in protein, fiber, magnesium, potassium, and calcium.

What do you eat on the Dash Diet?

There is a large variety in the foods you can consume while doing the Dash Diet. You may eat lots of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products, fish, legumes, poultry, red meat, sweets and fats in small amounts. You want to consume 6-8 servings of whole grains, 8-10 servings of fruits and vegetables, 2-3 servings of fat free or low fat dairy, 6 or fewer servings of lean meats, poultry and fish, 2-3 servings of fats and oils a day.

You want to limit your intake of sodium to 1,500-2,400 milligrams a day. You can also enjoy nuts, seeds and beans 4-5 times a week, and sweets less than 5 times a week. Whole grains consist of breads, cereals, rice, and pasta. They are naturally low in fat so try and eat them without adding butter or sauces. Vegetables can consist of carrots, tomatoes, broccoli, and sweet potatoes. You may have fresh or frozen vegetables but make sure if they are canned they do not have added salt.

Fruit can be fresh, dried, in a can, or as a juice. Dairy you may have milk, yogurt, and cheese just make sure they are low in fat or fat free. Almonds, sunflower seeds, kidney beans, and lentils are a good source magnesium, potassium, and protein.


Substitutes on the Dash Diet?

When you want to enjoy a sweet, choose the fat-free or low fat ones like sorbets, fruit ices, hard candy, jellybeans, and low fat cookies. You may want to use artificial sweeteners instead of real sugar to help satisfy your sweet tooth. Alcohol should be limited to two or fewer drinks a day for men and only one drink a day for women. Just like salt it can increase your blood pressure.

Who is the Dash Diet best for?

The Dash Diet is recommended for those who are trying to lower their blood pressure. Exercise is also recommended for this diet. The Dash diet is especially effective in reducing blood pressure in blacks and older adults. With exercise and weight loss it can also reduce your resistance to insulin. You want to do at least 30 minutes a day of exercise. You want to do flexibility, and strengthening exercises, as well as aerobic activity.

Any physical activity that increases your breathing and heart rate are aerobic activities. This could be taking the stairs, swimming, walking, jogging, mowing the lawn, raking leaves, or scrubbing your kitchen floor.


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