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DASH Diet: How to Lower Your Blood Pressure!

by Josephine Andrews
Published: Last Updated on 129 views

The DASH diet helps prevent and treat high blood pressure (hypertension). There is a lot of fresh and healthy food on her menu. On the other hand, very salty dishes are taboo. Read more about the DASH diet, how it works and how you can lose weight with it too.

DASH diet: what is it?

DASH is short for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, which can be translated as: a dietary approach to stop high blood pressure . The idea for the DASH diet came about after scientists in the US noticed that vegans and vegetarians were less likely to suffer from high blood pressure. They attributed it to the fact that these diets consume little salt and lots of plant-based foods.

The DASH diet therefore primarily allows foods such as fruit, vegetables and whole grain products. The reason: They are rich in nutrients such as potassium, calcium, magnesium and fiber, which have a positive effect on blood pressure.

On the other hand, high-fat foods such as sausage and cheese, salty products, sweets, ready meals and alcohol are avoided.

Various studies have shown a positive effect of the DASH diet on blood pressure. It has also been shown to help lower LDL cholesterol levels. LDL cholesterol is linked to heart disease and stroke.

DASH Diet: Which foods are allowed?

The DASH diet does not prescribe any special foods. Rather, it is about changing your diet and focusing on nutritious and healthy products. This includes:

  • vegetables and fruit
  • whole grain products
  • fat-free and low-fat dairy products
  • fish and poultry
  • legumes
  • nuts
  • vegetable oils

Learn more about healthy foods here .

DASH Diet: It’s better to avoid these foods!

Little fat , salt and preferably no sugar: Processed foods, sweets and ready meals are taboo on the DASH diet. You should therefore banish all food from the menu

  • high sodium (sausage, fries, ready meals)
  • saturated fat (cream, pastries, fatty cheese and fatty meat)
  • added sugar (soda pop, pizza dough, sushi, sauces, candy)
  • lots of salt

DASH Diet: It Has These Health Benefits!

Studies show: The DASH diet has been shown to lower blood pressure in both healthy people and those affected by hypertension. However, the strongest effects were seen in people with high blood pressure. The blood pressure dropped most clearly when those affected significantly reduced their salt consumption.

The following effects were also found in studies:

  • Decrease in LDL cholesterol levels
  • Reducing the risk of cancer – including colon and breast cancer
  • lower risk of developing metabolic syndrome
  • lower risk of diabetes
  • reduced risk of heart disease and stroke

Can you lose weight with the DASH diet?

Studies have shown that in some cases the DASH diet leads to weight loss. Above all, avoiding very greasy food, sweets and alcohol often causes the pounds to tumble. In addition, foods containing fiber keep you full for longer and prevent food cravings.

Those who lose weight with the DASH diet do it gently. All important nutrients continue to be absorbed and there are no deficiency symptoms. In addition, there is usually no yo-yo effect.

However, the DASH diet does not automatically help you lose weight. Nor is it designed for that purpose. Rather, what is decisive is how your individual energy balance turns out – i.e. whether you use up more calories than you take in. If you want to lose weight with the DASH diet, it is best to do sports as well. An average of 30 minutes of exercise a day is a good guideline.

Dash Diet Nutrition Plan

The DASH meal plan includes different food groups. The number of servings you should take depends on your daily calorie needs and energy expenditure. On average, the following recommendations apply:

  • six to eight servings of grains daily. A serving is one slice of bread or half a cup of cooked grain, rice, or pasta.
  • four to five servings of vegetables and fruit daily
  • two to three servings of fat-free or low-fat dairy products a day. A portion is a cup of milk or yoghurt or about 50 grams of cheese.
  • a maximum of 150 grams of lean meat, poultry or fish per day
  • four to five servings of nuts, seeds or legumes per week. A serving is 1/3 cup of nuts, 2 tablespoons of peanut butter, 2 tablespoons of seeds, or 1/2 cup of cooked legumes.
  • two to three servings of fats and oils daily. A serving consists of 1 teaspoon soft margarine, 1 teaspoon vegetable oil, 1 tablespoon mayonnaise, or 2 tablespoons salad dressing.
  • a maximum of five servings of sweets or sugar substitutes per week. A serving is one tablespoon of sugar, jelly or jam, half a cup of sherbet, or a cup of soda.

Who is the DASH diet suitable for?

The DASH diet is particularly suitable for people with high blood pressure. For them, the low-salt diet showed the most effects in studies. The DASH diet is also good for prevention for people who have a family history of high blood pressure.

Lots of fruit and vegetables, no processed meat or ready meals: There is nothing wrong with permanently integrating the DASH diet into life as a healthy adult.

However, children, pregnant women and competitive athletes often have special nutritional requirements. In these cases, it is better to check with a doctor or nutritionist how healthy the DASH diet is in each case. Even if you have low blood pressure, it is better to inquire beforehand how sensible this form of nutrition is for you.

DASH Diet: You should pay attention to this!

  • In addition to the DASH diet, regular exercise, little stress and enough sleep (seven to nine hours) support a healthy lifestyle.
  • Alcohol is not completely forbidden on the DASH diet, but women should not drink more than a small glass of wine or a beer a day. For men, it’s over after two glasses at the latest.
  • Cook for yourself whenever possible. Use lots of fresh vegetables and choose poultry, fish and lean meats instead of bacon and ham.
  • The portion recommendations on the DASH diet are averages. You don’t have to strictly adhere to it. For example, if you had too much oil or fat on one day, you can compensate for it on the following days.
  • To avoid sodium and salt, it helps to read food labels in the supermarket. Ready meals and spices are often full of it.
  • Season your food with fresh or dried herbs, spices or fresh lemon juice instead of salt.

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