Diet 101: DASH Diet

by in Diets & Weight Loss, March 22, 2012

dash dietThe Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) Diet has been traditionally recommended for those with high blood pressure. However, this diet was recently ranked as the Best Overall Diet for Healthy Eating by U.S. News.

Overview
The DASH Diet was created by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute in order to help prevent and lower high blood pressure (AKA hypertension). The diet promotes nutrients like potassium, calcium, fiber and protein, which have been shown help reduce high blood pressure. The plan emphasizes that you take in these nutrients by eating a variety of foods especially fruits, veggies, whole grains, lean protein and low-fat dairy. High calorie meats (like red meat), high fat and high sugar foods are all discouraged, and reducing salt intake is encouraged. Although this plan was created for those with high blood pressure, it is no more than a well-balanced diet where whole foods are encouraged while high calorie and processed foods are discouraged.

The plan also encourages regular exercise and an overall healthy lifestyle including not smoking.

The Plan
Below are guidelines for a 2,000 calorie meal plan. As different folks have different calorie needs, the DASH website can help you determine the calorie level that is best for you, and the chart on the site adjusts for different portions for the different calorie ranges.

  • Grains: 6-8 servings per day
  • Vegetables: 4-5 servings per day
  • Fruits: 4-5 servings per day
  • Fat-free of low fat milk products: 2-3 servings per day
  • Lean meats, poultry and fish: 6 or less servings per day
  • Nuts, seeds and legumes: 3-5 per week
  • Fats and oils: 2-3 servings per day
  • Sweets and added sugars: 5 or less per week
  • Max sodium limit: 2,300 milligrams per day

The Costs
Guidelines for the DASH Diet can be found on the NHLBI website free of charge. There are many books on the diet on the market, such as The Dash Diet Action Plan by Marla Heller, MS RD which costs $22.99.

As for food costs, fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains may cost you more than highly processed foods that are on sale but the end results have been scientifically proven, so in this case, a bit of extra money is worth it to your health. You can always save money by purchasing frozen fruits and veggies, which are allowed on the DASH Diet.

The Good

  • The plan encourages whole foods and plenty of whole grains, fruits and veggies
  • It’s a well-balanced diet
  • No supplements are recommended
  • Alcohol is allowed in moderation—1 drink per day for men and 2 drinks per day for women
  • Guidelines for hypertension are based on scientific research

The Not-So-Good

  • You’ll need to keep track of servings from each food group
  • Eating out and traveling may be difficult
  • It takes time to get used to food with less salt

The Bottom Line:
This is a sensible plan that can lead to healthy weight loss and help decrease your chances of developing high blood pressure. It’s a win-win situation.

TELL US: Have you tried the DASH Diet?

More posts from .

Similar Posts

When Cravings Call, What Are They Saying?

We all get cravings, but when they come in the form of high-sugar or high-fat, calorie-dense foods, it’s your waistline that suffers the consequence...

Comments (487)

  1. Discover More…

    [...]very handful of internet websites that occur to become detailed below, from our point of view are undoubtedly effectively really worth checking out[...]…

  2. beauvais disneyland…

    [...]here are some links to web-sites that we link to because we feel they are worth visiting[...]…

  3. logo answers says:

    logo answers…

    [...]Sites of interest we’ve a link to[...]…

  4. Read More says:

    iffy situation…

    things i wanted to say is that i really need some sleep and that this website is starting to look good…

  5. Souls in the Waves…

    Great Morning, I just stopped in to go to your website and believed I would say I loved myself….

  6. tina lawson…

    I like to look around the web, often I will just go to Stumble Upon and read and check stuff out…

  7. Luis Souto ecommerce projects handled boat supplies…

    [...]Every after inside a even though we pick out blogs that we study. Listed beneath would be the latest web-sites that we pick out [...]…

  8. wenn man von haarausfall betroffen ist…

    [...]we like to honor several other net internet sites on the net, even when they aren?t linked to us, by linking to them. Under are some webpages really worth checking out[...]…

  9. cam sex chat says:

    The Ships’s Voyages…

    I believe know-how just makes it worse. Now there’s a channel to hardly ever treatment, now there is not going to be considered a chance for them to find….

  10. ferienwohnungen und pensionen…

    So sorry you’ll skip the workshop!…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>