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What is the DASH Diet? Scientific Plan To Maintain BP

What is the DASH Diet? Scientific Plan To Maintain BP

The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, or DASH, diet has been consistently ranked as a top diet overall, and that comes as no surprise.

Unlike fad diets that call for extreme calorie or food-group restrictions without scientific evidence that supports their efficacy, the DASH diet involves manageable dietary changes that are flexible and rooted in proven nutritional advice.

This has made the eating plan popular among doctors, dietitians, and other health professionals in the United States, where heart disease remains the No. 1 killer among men and women.

High blood pressure (Hypertension) is a big contributing factor to heart disease and affects an estimated 50 percent of American adults. One in three of those people don’t know they have hypertension.

Heart disease is also the leading cause of death around the world. The good news is that lifestyle changes, including the switch to a healthy diet, may help lower blood pressure in patients with resistant hypertension, which is blood pressure that remains elevated despite medication, research suggests.

DASH Diet Types:
Depending on your health needs, you can choose from two forms of the DASH diet.
The standard DASH diet This plan limits sodium consumption to 2,300 milligrams (mg) per day.
The lower-sodium DASH diet This version calls for limiting sodium consumption to 1,500 mg per day.

The daily DASH eating plan also involves, on average:
6 to 8 servings of grains, preferably whole grains
6 or fewer servings of meat, poultry, and fish
4 to 5 servings of veggies
4 to 5 servings of fruit
2 to 3 servings of low-fat or fat-free dairy products
2 to 3 servings of fat or oils

Depending on your weight loss or weight maintenance needs, you can choose a DASH diet plan that provides 1,200, 1,400, 1,600, 1,800, 2,000, 2,600, or 3,100 calories per day.

The DASH diet works by limiting not only sodium but also saturated fat — both of which can be detrimental to heart health.

A diet that’s heavy in salt can drive up blood pressure, which puts unnecessary strain on the heart muscle, Rose-Francis says. Saturated fat, on the other hand, can increase cholesterol levels. Cholesterol has the potential of blocking or decreasing the flow of blood to the heart. The restricted blood flow can lead to heart attack and stroke.

People who want to lower their blood pressure should combine the diet with other healthy lifestyle approaches to manage hypertension, such as getting more exercise, losing weight, cutting back on alcohol consumption, and managing stress levels. Quitting smoking and getting plenty of sleep are also recommended and can improve your overall health.



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