Recent studies show that high blood pressure can be lowered by the DASH Diet planand by reduced salt intake (sodium). The DASH eating plan also has other benefits, such as lowering LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, which, along with lowering blood pressure, can reduce your risk for getting heart disease. Each method alone lowers blood pressure, however, the combination of the eating plan and a decreased sodium intake gives the highest benefit and prevents the development of high blood pressure.The DASH Diet Plan is:1- Low in saturated fat, cholesterol, and total fat.2- Rich in fruits, vegetables, and fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products. 3- Includes whole grain products, fish, poultry, and nuts. 4- Low in lean red meat, sweets, added sugars, and sugar-containing beverages compared to the typical American diet.5- Rich in potassium, magnesium, calcium, protein and fiber (nutrients that are expected to lower blood pressure).
Daily Nutrient Goals of the DASH Plan (for a 2,100 Calorie Plan):- Total fat: 27% of calories- Saturated fat: 6% of calories- Protein: 18% of calories- Carbohydrate: 55% of calories- Cholesterol: 150 mg- Sodium: 2,300 mg. the diet offers 2 levels of daily sodium consumption 2,300 and 1,500 milligrams per day. 2,300 milligrams is the highest level acceptable by the National High Blood Pressure Education Program. 1,500 milligram can lower blood pressure further and more recently is more recommended as adequate intake and one that most people should try to achieve. The lower your salt intake is, the lower your blood pressure. Studies have found that the DASH menus containing 2,300 milligrams of sodium can lower blood pressure and that an even lower level of sodium, 1,500 milligrams, can further reduce blood pressure. Current salt consumption in the United States is 4,200 milligrams per day in adult men and 3,300 milligrams per day in adult women. – Potassium: 4,700 mg- Calcium: 1,250 mg- Magnesium: 500 mg- Fiber: 30 g
DASH Diet and Weight LossYou can lose weight while following the DASH diet plan at lower calorie levels with increasing your physical activity. The best way to lose weight is by doing so gradually, getting more physical activity, and eating a balanced diet that is lower in calories and fat. Physical activity can be done at one time for 30 minutes , or at 3 times 10 minutes each for a total of 30 minutes. To avoid weight gain, try to total about 60 minutes per day. How to Lower Calories on the DASH Eating Plan?The DASH eating plan can be adopted to promote weight loss. It is rich in lower-calorie foods, such as fruits and vegetables. You can make it lower in calories by replacing higher calorie foods such as sweets with more fruits and vegetablesEand that also will make it easier for you to reach your DASH goals. Here are some examples:1- To increase fruits: Eat a medium apple instead of four shortbread cookies. You’ll save 80 calories. Eat 1/4 cup of dried apricots instead of a 2-ounce bag of pork rinds. You’ll save 230 calories.2- To increase vegetables: Have a hamburger that’s 3 ounces of meat instead of 6 ounces. Add a 1/2-cup serving of carrots and a 1/2-cup serving of spinach. You’ll save more than 200 calories. Instead of 5 ounces of chicken, have a stir fry with 2 ounces of chicken and 11/2 cups of raw vegetables. Use a small amount of vegetable oil. You’ll save 50 calories. 3- To increase fat-free or low-fat milk products: Have a 1/2-cup serving of low-fat frozen yogurt instead of a 1/2-cup serving of full-fat ice cream. You’ll save about 70 calories. 4- Other calorie-saving tips: – Use fat-free or low-fat condiments. Use half as much vegetable oil, soft or liquid margarine, mayonnaise, or salad dressing, or choose available low-fat or fat-free versions. Eat smaller portionsEcut back gradually. Choose fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products. Check the food labels to compare fat content in packaged foodsE items marked fat-free or low-fat are not always lower in calories than their regular versions. Limit foods with lots of added sugar,such as pies, flavored yogurts, candy bars, ice cream, sherbet, regular soft drinks, and fruit drinks. – Eat fruits canned in their own juice or in water. Add fruit to plain fat-free or low-fat yogurt. Snack on fruit, vegetable sticks, unbuttered and unsalted popcorn, or rice cakes. Drink water or club sodaEzest it up with a wedge of lemon or lime.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
This article is written by Dr Wael Serag a medical doctor working as a medical writer in a number of medical subspecialties. To read more articles, please visit Top Diets Online. Also you can read more about DASH diet.
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