High blood pressure affects a large number of people worldwide and the number is only increasing.
Diet plays a major role in the development and management of high blood pressure.
DASH (dietary approach to stop hypertension) diet is a type of diet recommended to people who want to prevent or control hypertension. This diet focuses more on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats. This diet is low in red meat, salt, added sugar and fat.
DASH diet was created as it was noticed in research that those who followed a plant-based diet had lower chances of suffering from high blood pressure(3)
This diet encourages not more than 1 teaspoon of sodium intake in a day.
Benefits Of Dash Diet On Blood Pressure
Along with lowering blood pressure, DASH diet offers other benefits including weight loss and reducing cancer risk.
The benefits of the DASH diet are as follows:
Lowers Blood Pressure
Blood pressure is a measure of the force with which the blood passes from the blood vessels and the organs. There are two numbers in which it is measured:
- Systolic Pressure: It is the pressure in the blood vessels when the heartbeats. The normal systolic blood pressure is 120 mmHg.
- Diastolic Pressure: It is the pressure in the blood vessels between the heartbeats. The normal diastolic pressure is 80 mmHg.
- DASH diet lowers the blood pressure in normal as well as those with high blood pressure.
A study found people still experiencing low blood pressure even if there was no weight loss and restricted salt intake.(4) Whereas, when sodium intake was restricted, the DASH diet further lowered the blood pressure(5)
Another study showed that restricting salt intake reduced blood pressure in those who had high blood pressure(6)
Aids Weight Loss
Also, losing weight is linked with lowering blood pressure(9)
Few studies suggest the DASH diet can help lose weight.(10) Those who lost weight during the DASH diet were actually eating fewer calories than they were expending.
Dash diet cuts the intake of high-fat and sugary foods which reduces the intake of calories.
DASH Diet Tips
DASH diet demands a certain number of servings daily from various food groups. The number of calories required depends on the calories required in a day.
There Are Certain Tips That Can Be Followed On A DASH Diet:
- You can add a serving of vegetables at lunch and dinner time.
- Fruits can be added to the meals or as a snack.
- Use low-fat or fat-free condiments and only half of the typical serving of butter, margarine, or salad dressing.
- Drink low-fat or skimmed dairy products
- Limit meat intake to 6 ounces a day.
- Eat more vegetables and dry beans to the diet.
Read the food label and go for those low in sodium.
A DASH Diet Suggests:
- 7-8 serving of grains daily
- 4-5 servings of vegetables daily
- 4-5 servings of fruits daily
- 2-3 daily serving of low-fat or fat-free dairy products
- 2 or less serving of meat, poultry or fish daily
- 4-5 serving daily of nuts, seeds, and dry beans
Other Potential Benefits of the DASH Diet
Apart from lowering blood pressure and helping in losing weight, the DASH diet serves the body with other potential benefits, such as:
- Lowering the Risk Of Cancer: A review indicates that people following the DASH diet had a lower risk of colorectal and breast cancer(11)
- Lowers Metabolic Syndrome Risk: There are studies that show the DASH diet reduces the risk of metabolic syndrome by 81%(12)
- Lowers Diabetes Risk: There are studies supporting the role of the DASH diet to improve insulin resistance(13)
- Decreases Heart Disease Risk: DASH diet lowers the risk of heart disease and stroke(14)
DASH diet is easy and an effective way to reduce blood pressure. Healthy individuals can have any of the reasons to follow this diet.
It can be a good option for those sensitive to salt and have high blood pressure.
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