If you’re looking for a diet that can lower your blood pressure in as little as 2 weeks, then look no further and start the DASH diet.
DASH stands for a dietary approach to stop hypertension. Studies have shown that it can help treat and lower your blood pressure. Not only that but it lowers your LDL levels (also known as the “Bad” cholesterol) as well. Both of which are known to contribute to the development of heart disease and stroke. Added benefits also include:
- Losing weight
- Lowering the risk of breast and colorectal cancer
- Lowering the risk of metabolic syndrome
Everything sounds great so far but you’re probably wondering if a diet that appears to be doing such wonders, then it must be a very strict diet. Well, you’re wrong because it’s a very flexible diet that doesn’t leave you hungry and you don’t have to cut your treats that much.
Dash Diet Exclusions
The diet naturally will aim to reduce blood pressure’s biggest enemy, which is sodium. It aims to keep your sodium intake for the day to 2300mg which is basically a teaspoon of salt. There is a lower sodium DASH diet that involves only 1500 mg of salt a day. If you’re confused about which version to choose from then consult your doctor to see which version will meet your health needs. Here are some tips to lower your daily sodium intake:
- Avoid adding salt/MSG/salt-containing seasoning while cooking. Try opting for spices instead to add flavor to your favorite dishes.
- Choose plain fresh, frozen or canned veggies.
- Choose fresh lean skinless meat. Avoid processed meat.
- Read food labels. Always go for the “no salt” or “low sodium” food items. Also, be careful of the words “smoked”, “cured” and “pickled”, as those food types tend to be high in salt.
The last things to avoid in the DASH diet include:
- Full-fat dairy products.
- Any oil that is solid at room temperatures like butter or margarine
- High sugar foods and drinks.
Dash Diet Inclusions
So now we come to the part of what is included in the DASH diet. Well, you are lucky because it includes anything that I haven’t mentioned above. The foods that the DASH diet likes to focus on are those that are high in potassium (a heart-healthy mineral), calcium, magnesium, fiber, and protein. So, this includes eating:
- Lots of fruit and vegetables.
- Whole-grain carbohydrates.
- Fat-free or low-fat dairy products
- Fish, skinless poultry, and lean meat
- Legumes, nuts, and seeds.
So, as you can see, the diet is very simple and there are plenty of dishes you can make and it’s not restrictive one bit. There is also a simple online quiz you can take to see if you’re already eating the DASH diet. I’ll leave the link at the bottom and always remember “It’s not a short-term diet. It’s a long-term lifestyle change”.