The DASH Diet

The DASH Diet

What is the DASH Diet?

The new DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) is recommended for people who want to prevent or treat hypertension (high blood pressure) and reduce their risk of heart disease. It was created after researchers noticed that high blood pressure was much less common in people who followed a plant-based diet, such as vegans and vegetarians. Which is why The diet requires a certain number of servings daily from various food groups mainly focusing on fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean meats. The number of servings you require may change, depending on how many calories you need per day.

Scientists believe that one of the main reasons people with high blood pressure can benefit from this diet is because it reduces salt intake.

The regular DASH diet encourages no more than 1 teaspoon (2,300 mg) of sodium per day, which is in line with most national guidelines, the lower-salt version recommends no more than 3/4 teaspoon (1,500 mg) of sodium per day.

For every detail on the DASH Diet here is the best dash diet book and ebook which walks you through it all step by step: The DASH Diet book

The DASH diet

Benefits of the DASH Diet

Reduce Blood Pressure

The new DASH diet helps to lower blood pressure related to its formation of potassium, calcium, and magnesium. Each key nutrient plays a role in the lowering of blood pressure. Since the DASH diet limits salt and sodium intake, some individuals may see further reductions.

Although sodium is needed for critical body functions, too much of it can cause fluid build-up which additional fluid can put extra strain and pressure on the heart, in turn increasing blood pressure.

Additionally, research discovered that blood pressure levels were reduced similar amounts while following either of the diet plans.

Kidney Health

The new DASH Diet has also been directly linked to the prevention of kidney stones in research conducted, which can be very painful and prevents the proper function of the organ. The formation of the diet prevents the excess deposits of minerals that lead to kidney stones. High sodium intake is also a common factor that leads to kidney failure, as it can dehydrate the body and overwork the kidneys. The National Kidney Foundation has claimed the potential value of the DASH Diet for those at high risk of kidney failure.

Flexibility

The typical DASH diet plan is available for calorie levels 1,200, 1,600, 2,000, 2,600 and 3,100, so it is easy to choose the level that will produce steady weight loss depending on your starting weight and gender. As you lose weight, you can use the plans for the appropriate calorie level for maintenance.

Lowered Cholesterol

With the inclusion of whole grains, comes the natural addition of fiber. Whole wheat products, brown rice, and oats are high fiber sources, which high amounts of fiber have been shown to reduce cholesterol levels.

Men should aim for 38 grams per day while women should have 25 grams per day.  New research found the addition of higher fat dairy products actually reduced “bad” cholesterol levels in comparison to individuals consuming the standard low-fat DASH plan.

Anticancer Properties

One of the other side benefits of the DASH Diet is its impact on certain cancers. A report published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition claims that following the DASH diet (containing higher intakes of fruits, whole grains, and vegetables; average quantity of low-fat dairy; and lower amounts of red or processed meats, desserts, and sweetened beverages), will result in a lower risk of colorectal cancer.

The high content of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains means a high concentration of fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants, which can prevent the impact of byproducts of cellular respiration which cause mutation in healthy cells and lead to the spread of cancer.

Weight Loss

Weight loss comes with a calorie deficit. Although the DASH diet does not promote calorie reduction, filling the diet with nutrient-dense foods rather than calorie-rich foods can shed off pounds in a sustaining manner. Diets rich in fiber have also been shown to contribute to weight loss.

Even if blood pressure levels are normal and healthy, the DASH diet is worth trying. Reducing processed fats and sweets with rising amounts of fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products can provide the body with a large amount of nutrients without feeling deprived or hungry.

Research which supports the weight loss on the DASH Diet can be found here.

Drawbacks of the DASH Diet

  • • For the best results, portion sizes need to be regulated, which can be challenging for some people.
  • • Followers of the plan will need to get into the habit of reading labels on food to get rid of hidden sources of sodium and sugar.

 

What foods to eat on the DASH diet

The DASH diet doesn’t list specific foods to eat.

Instead, it recommends specific servings of different food groups.

The number of servings you can eat depends on how many calories you consume. Below is an example of food portions based on a 2,000-calorie diet.

DASH diet foods

Whole Grains: 6–8 Servings per Day

Examples of whole grains include whole-wheat or whole-grain breads, whole-grain breakfast cereals, brown rice, bulgur, quinoa and oatmeal.

Examples of a serving include:

  • • 1 slice of whole-grain bread
  • • 1 ounce (28 grams) of dry, whole-grain cereal
  • • 1/2 cup (95 grams) of cooked rice, pasta or cereal

Vegetables: 4–5 Servings per Day

All vegetables are allowed on the DASH diet.

Examples of a serving include:

  • • 1 cup (about 30 grams) of raw, green vegetables like spinach or kale
  • • 1/2 cup (about 45 grams) of sliced vegetables — raw or cooked — like broccoli, carrots, squash or tomatoes

Fruits: 4–5 Servings per Day

If you’re following the DASH approach, you’ll be eating a lot of fruit. Examples of fruits you can eat include apples, pears, peaches, berries and tropical fruits like pineapple and mango.

Examples of a serving include:

  • • 1 medium apple
  • • 1/4 cup (50 grams) of dried apricots
  • • 1/2 cup (30 grams) of fresh, frozen or canned peaches

Dairy Products: 2–3 Servings per Day

Dairy products on the DASH diet should be low in fat. Examples include skim milk and low-fat cheese and yogurt.

Examples of a serving include:

  • • 1 cup (240 ml) of low-fat milk
  • • 1 cup (285 grams) of low-fat yogurt
  • • 1.5 ounces (45 grams) of low-fat cheese

Lean Chicken, Meat and Fish: 6 or Fewer Servings per Day

Choose lean cuts of meat and try to eat a serving of red meat only occasionally — no more than once or twice a week.

Examples of a serving include:

  • • 1 ounce (28 grams) of cooked meat, chicken or fish
  • • 1 egg

Nuts, Seeds and Legumes: 4–5 Servings per Week

These include almonds, peanuts, hazelnuts, walnuts, sunflower seeds, flaxseeds, kidney beans, lentils and split peas.

Examples of a serving include:

  • • 1/3 cup (50 grams) of nuts
  • • 2 tablespoons (40 grams) of nut butter
  • • 2 tablespoons (16 grams) of seeds
  • • 1/2 cup (40 grams) of cooked legumes

Fats and Oils: 2–3 Servings per Day

The DASH diet recommends vegetable oils over other oils. These include margarines and oils like canola, corn, olive or safflower. It also recommends low-fat mayonnaise and light salad dressing.

Examples of a serving include:

  • • 1 teaspoon (4.5 grams) of soft margarine
  • • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of vegetable oil
  • • 1 tablespoon (15 grams) of mayonnaise
  • • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of salad dressing

Confectionary and Added Sugars: 5 or Fewer Servings per Week

Added sugars are kept to a minimum on the DASH diet, so limit your intake of candy, soda and table sugar. The DASH diet also restricts unrefined sugars and alternative sugar sources, like agave nectar.

Examples of a serving include:

  • • 1 tablespoon (12.5 grams) of sugar
  • • 1 tablespoon (20 grams) of jelly or jam
  • • 1 cup (240 ml) of lemonade

DASH Diet Sample meal plan for 1 week

For a book and ebook full of 500 detailed menu plans like the one below and how to make them click here: The DASH Diet cookbook

Here’s a typical dash diet one-week meal plan — based on 2,000 calories per day — for the regular DASH diet:

Monday

  • • Breakfast: 1 cup (90 grams) of oatmeal with 1 cup (240 ml) of skim milk, 1/2 cup (75 grams) of blueberries and 1/2 cup (120 ml) of fresh orange juice.
  • • Snack: 1 medium apple and 1 cup (285 grams) of low-fat yogurt.
  • • Lunch: Tuna and mayonnaise sandwich made with 2 slices of whole-grain bread, 1 tablespoon (15 grams) of mayonnaise, 1.5 cups (113 grams) of green salad and 3 ounces (80 grams) of canned tuna.
  • • Snack: 1 medium banana.
  • • Dinner: 3 ounces (85 grams) of lean chicken breast cooked in 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of vegetable oil with 1/2 cup (75 grams) each of broccoli and carrots. Served with 1 cup (190 grams) of brown rice.

Tuesday

Dash diet food

 

  • • Breakfast: 2 slices of whole-wheat toast with 1 teaspoon (4.5 grams) of margarine, 1 tablespoon (20 grams) of jelly or jam, 1/2 cup (120 ml) of fresh orange juice and 1 medium apple.
  • • Snack: 1 medium banana.
  • • Lunch: 3 ounces (85 grams) of lean chicken breast with 2 cups (150 grams) of green salad, 1.5 ounces (45 grams) of low-fat cheese and 1 cup (190 grams) of brown rice.
  • • Snack: 1/2 cup (30 grams) of canned peaches and 1 cup (285 grams) of low-fat yogurt.
  • • Dinner: 3 ounces (85 grams) of salmon cooked in 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of vegetable oil with 1 cup (300 grams) of boiled potatoes and 1.5 cups (225 grams) of boiled vegetables.

Wednesday

  • • Breakfast: 1 cup (90 grams) of oatmeal with 1 cup (240 ml) of skim milk and 1/2 cup (75 grams) of blueberries. 1/2 cup (120 ml) of fresh orange juice.
  • • Snack: 1 medium orange.
  • • Lunch: 2 slices of whole-wheat bread, 3 ounces (85 grams) of lean turkey, 1.5 ounces (45 grams) of low-fat cheese, 1/2 cup (38 grams) of green salad and 1/2 cup (38 grams) of cherry tomatoes.
  • • Snack: 4 whole-grain crackers with 1.5 ounces (45 grams) of cottage cheese and 1/2 cup (75 grams) of canned pineapple.
  • • Dinner: 6 ounces (170 grams) of cod fillet, 1 cup (200 grams) of mashed potatoes, 1/2 cup (75 grams) of green peas and 1/2 cup (75 grams) of broccoli.

Thursday

  • • Breakfast: 1 cup (90 grams) of oatmeal with 1 cup (240 ml) of skim milk and 1/2 cup (75 grams) of raspberries. 1/2 cup (120 ml) of fresh orange juice.
  • • Snack: 1 medium banana.
  • • Lunch: Salad made with 4.5 ounces (130 grams) of grilled tuna, 1 boiled egg, 2 cups (152 grams) of green salad, 1/2 cup (38 grams) of cherry tomatoes and 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of low-fat dressing.
  • • Snack: 1/2 cup (30 grams) of canned pears and 1 cup (285 grams) of low-fat yogurt.
  • • Dinner: 3 ounces (85 grams) of pork fillet with 1 cup (150 grams) of mixed vegetables and 1 cup (190 grams) of brown rice.

Friday

  • • Breakfast: 2 boiled eggs, 2 slices of turkey bacon with 1/2 cup (38 grams) of cherry tomatoes, 1/2 cup (80 grams) of baked beans and 2 slices of whole-wheat toast, plus 1/2 cup (120 ml) of fresh orange juice.
  • • Snack: 1 medium apple.
  • • Lunch: 2 slices of whole-wheat toast, 1 tablespoon of low-fat mayonnaise, 1.5 ounces (45 grams) of low-fat cheese, 1/2 cup (38 grams) of salad greens and 1/2 cup (38 grams) of cherry tomatoes.
  • • Snack: 1 cup of fruit salad.
  • • Dinner: Spaghetti and meatballs made with 1 cup (190 grams) of spaghetti and 4 ounces (115 grams) of minced turkey. 1/2 cup (75 grams) of green peas on the side.

Saturday

  • • Breakfast: 2 slices of whole-wheat toast with 2 tablespoons (40 grams) of peanut butter, 1 medium banana, 2 tablespoons (16 grams) of mixed seeds and 1/2 cup (120 ml) of fresh orange juice.
  • • Snack: 1 medium apple.
  • • Lunch: 3 ounces (85 grams) of grilled chicken, 1 cup (150 grams) of roasted vegetables and 1 cup (190 grams) couscous.
  • • Snack: 1/2 cup (30 grams) of mixed berries and 1 cup (285 grams) of low-fat yogurt.
  • • Dinner: 3 ounces (85 grams) of pork steak and 1 cup (150 grams) of ratatouille with 1 cup (190 grams) of brown rice, 1/2 cup (40 grams) of lentils and 1.5 ounces (45 grams) of low-fat cheese.
  • • Dessert: Low-fat chocolate pudding.

Sunday

  • • Breakfast: 1 cup (90 grams) of oatmeal with 1 cup (240 ml) of skim milk, 1/2 cup (75 grams) of blueberries and 1/2 cup (120 ml) of fresh orange juice.
  • • Snack: 1 medium pear.
  • • Lunch: Chicken salad made with 3 ounces (85 grams) of lean chicken breast, 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise, 2 cups (150 grams) of green salad, 1/2 cup (75 grams) of cherry tomatoes, 1/2 tablespoon (4 grams) of seeds and 4 whole-grain crackers.
  • • Snack: 1 banana and 1/2 cup (70 grams) of almonds.
  • • Dinner: 3 ounces of roast beef with 1 cup (150 grams) of boiled potatoes, 1/2 cup (75 grams) of broccoli and 1/2 cup (75 grams) of green peas.

Does the Dash Diet work?

Health experts say yes, The DASH diet is an easy and effective way to reduce blood pressure and also lose weight. if you have high blood pressure or think you may be sensitive to salt, DASH is a good choice for you.

The DASH diet is a well-rounded diet filled with rich nutrients, which is an important key in the optimization of health. It provides success and sustainability due to its flexibility and its semi-unrestrictive nature, It delivers on the promises of heart health, alleviating diabetes,reduced blood pressure and overall health and vitality.

The suggested foods such as the ones above can be adapted for numerous delicious recipes, and most find it satisfying – even with limited portion sizes.

Also the time you invest in cooking and learning about new foods pays off in the end because the skills turn into lifelong habits, you are also likely to get support from your physician on this plan because it is an eating program that is widely supported by the medical community.

Here is a before and after picture of someone using the DASH diet

Dash Diet

If you are still considering trying the diet here is the best dash diet book and ebook which will walk you through it all to help you make up your mind: The DASH Diet book

But remember the only person who can make change happen is you, so I highly recommend you at least try it for yourself.

Anyone who is considering a major change to their diet should always talk to a doctor first.

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