Healthy Eating Habits – Know the Importance of Dash Diet for Hypertension Cure
The Dash diet for hypertension is the healthy diet plan to facilitate in lowering the blood pressure. There can be innumerable health issues if the blood pressure isn’t controlled such as increased risk of stroke, cardiac problems, etc. Thus, it is of paramount importance to keep the blood pressure in control.
The full form of Dash diet is Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension. The diet plan lays emphasis on the size of the food portion, aims at including more variety in terms of the fruits and vegetables, and reduction in the intake of Sodium.
What Is The Dash Diet?
People incorporate the dash diet plan in their daily routine for treating hypertension. However, it is of paramount importance to understand that it is a lifelong approach.
The one and only dash diet side effects are that the moment you stop the diet you will revert back to suffering from hypertension. It is a long-term approach and will help in keeping various ailments at bay!
Through the reduction in intake of Sodium, increasing the intake of Calcium, Magnesium, and Potassium, you can manage the blood pressure to a considerable extent. The dash diet for hypertension will show remarkable results within as less as two weeks of following the diet.
Dash Diet Meal Plan Benefits:
By following the dash diet meal plan, you can reap the best benefits as it is a way of healthy eating. Following the dash diet requires a minimum of about two weeks to show the best results and changes in the blood pressure.
Apart from lowering the blood pressure, the intake of vital nutrients will promote healthy well being! The various health issues which can be prevented through the dash diet for hypertension is the prevention of Cancer, Cardiac problems, Stroke, Osteoporosis, Diabetes, etc.
Dash Diet Food List-What To Eat?
The dash diet food list is simple. The foods which must be added to the diet plan can be enlisted as follows:
- Low-fat dairy foods
- Whole-grain foods
Dash Diet Food List-What To Avoid?
The foods which must be avoided in the hypertension diet can be enlisted as follows:
- Saturated fats
- Cholesterol-rich foods
- Trans fats
- High sodium foods
- Sweets and desserts
- Sugary drinks
- Red meats
- Aerated drinks
Lower The Sodium Intake To Promote Healthy Blood Pressure:
The prescribed dash diet for hypertension involves the consumption of about 2,300 mg of Sodium in a day, through the various sources of food. You can consume about 1500 mg of Sodium as the safe range. However, if you reduce the intake of sodium, it will be for the best control on hypertension and other related health issues.
Staying On The Dash Diet-Is It Beneficial?
If you wonder what is the Dash diet, then it involves the following of the method of eating all the appropriate nutrients in the required quantities. The proper intake of calories will help in promoting good health.
The Dash diet requires you to strictly follow the food list which includes vegetables, fruits, grains, etc. It also lets you have some meat, fish, and chicken but in limited quantities.
The main purpose of incorporating the dash diet for hypertension is to decrease the calorie intake and prevent various health issues. The following table will give you a gist of the servings you need in a day:
|Meat/poultry/fish||1 or less|
|Nuts/seeds||5-7 (per week)|
|Sweets||Less than 3 (per week)|
What To Eat In The Dash Diet?
The Dash diet involves the intake of fruits, green leafy vegetables, nuts, and limited quantities of fish, meat, and poultry. You must aim at avoiding as many sweets as possible.
Following the dash diet doesn’t mean that you won’t eat all, but it aims at eating less! The number of red meats, sweets, fatty items, etc. must be restricted to limited quantities. The Dash diet plan incorporates the intake of foods low in Cholesterol, Saturated fats, etc.
Grains: 5-7 Servings Per Day:
When we talk about grains, it will include cereal, bread, rice, etc. Each serving of grain can be calculated as a slice of bread, an ounce of dry cereal or half a cup of cooked cereal, half a cup of cooked rice, etc.
You must focus on having whole grains, as they will be rich in fiber and vital nutrients in the dash diet food list. The best example is to use brown rice in place of the polished white rice, wheat bread in place of white bread, etc.
Vegetables: 3 To 7 Servings Per Day:
The green leafy vegetables such as broccoli, carrot, sweet potato, tomato, etc. are rich in fiber, Vitamins, Minerals such as Potassium, and Magnesium. Each serving of the dash diet for hypertension will include about a cup of the diced vegetables, raw or cooked.
It is of paramount importance to understand that vegetables must never be taken up as a side dish. You can rather blend different vegetables and serve with brown rice or wheat noodles, to make a complete meal.
Most people rely upon the frozen vegetables or canned vegetables, and they seem to be a good choice. However, it is crucial to the check the vegetable labels without sodium or salt as the high blood pressure diet.
Fruits: 5 To 7 Servings Per day:
Fruits require almost negligible amounts of preparation and cooking. They constitute to be a healthy part of any meal as they are packed with the vital nutrients and minerals. One serving in the dash diet for hypertension will include a medium-sized fruit, half a cup of fresh fruits or canned ones, 3 ounces of the fruit juice.
Consuming fruits is an easy task, as you can munch on the raw fruit as a snack or have a piece of the fruit after meals. It is advisable to eat the edible peels of the fruits, as they are very healthy and rich in fiber.
Dairy: 1 To 3 Servings Per Day:
Dairy products are the main sources of Calcium and Vitamin D for the body. The key to maintaining the high blood pressure diet is to ensure you consume the dairy products such as milk, yogurt, cheese, paneer, etc. which are either free from fat or low in fat content.
If you consume dairy products which are high in fat, they will contribute to the overall fat in the body. One serving in the dash diet for hypertension will include a glass full of skimmed milk, 1 cup of low-fat yogurt, etc.
For those of you who have a sweet tooth, you can try frozen yogurt as a part of the daily dairy serving. By the addition of a fruit to the yogurt, it can be a nutritious treat indeed! The market is flooded with the types of cheese free from fats. However, they will be high in the content of sodium and must be strictly avoided.
Non-Veg: 2 Servings Per Day Or Less:
Cutting the meat and chicken portions will be one of the best dietary approaches to stop hypertension. It will not only be a healthier option but also allow more space for the vegetables to be added.
Although meat is rich in proteins, Iron, Vitamin B, etc. you must try and limit the quantity of the non-veg intake. Baking and roasting the meat or chicken is a safer way of cooking it, rather than frying it in oil.
Seafoods such as Tuna, Salmon, Herring, etc. are rich in the Omega 3 fatty acids. Thus, you can have the fish to promote the healthy lowering of the Cholesterol levels in the blood.
Nuts, And Seeds: 5 To 7 Servings Per Day:
Nuts and seeds are excellent sources of proteins, fiber, potassium, and magnesium. In the dash diet for hypertension, you must aim at keeping the size of the servings small. Kidney beans, nuts, almonds, lentils, etc. must be consumed only a few times in a week.
The nuts and seeds are high in calories and thus, you must reduce the quantity! One serving will include about a quarter cup of nuts, half a cup of cooked beans etc.
Fats and oils: 2 to 3 servings a day
Fat play a major role in the body to absorb the essential vitamins and also help in building the body’s immune system. However, it is of paramount importance to understand that too much fat intake will increase your risk of developing obesity, heart diseases, and diabetes.
The DASH diet suggests a healthy balance of foods as the dietary approaches to stop hypertension. By limiting the total fat to less than 25% of daily calories from fat, with a focus on the healthier fat intake, you can lower the blood pressure significantly.
Examples of one serving will include 1 teaspoon of soft margarine, 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise or 2 tablespoons of salad dressing. Saturated fat is the main dietary culprits in increasing your risk of coronary diseases.
Sweets: 5 Servings Or Less Per Week:
The hypertension diet doesn’t force you to stop eating sweets entirely. However, you will require limiting the sweets from your regular eating habits. Examples of one serving include 1 tablespoon of sugar, jelly or jam, etc.
When you eat sweets, you must try to choose those that are free from fats or low in the fat content. The best dash diet for weight loss will include healthy choices such as fruit popsicles, jelly beans, graham crackers, low-fat cookies, etc.
Artificial sweeteners may help in satisfying your sweet-tooth while keeping the sugar content in check. You must cut down on the sugar intake, as it has no nutritional value at all. It will only increase the daily intake of calories. You can munch on some dates when you crave for sweets as a healthy alternative.
Dash Diet For Weight Loss:
It is of paramount importance to understand that the dash diet isn’t aimed at losing weight. However, it will guide you towards healthy eating habits, provide you with the food list for reducing the calorie intake, etc. it will also promote healthy weight maintenance through a decrease in the food servings.
Tips While Following The Dash Diet Plan:
- Add one serving of vegetable, as a meal for lunch and dinner.
- Add a fruit after each meal.
- Snack on healthy foods such as a fruit or yogurt.
- Munch on some canned nuts or dry fruits, without sugar or salt.
- Use low-fat milk and dairy products.
- Reduce the butter and margarine intake by about half.
- Have about six ounces of meat in a day.
- Have fresh vegetable and fruit salads to curb hunger in between the meals.
- Don’t add salt while cooking rice and chappatis.
- You can rinse the canned foods with fresh water to remove traces of sodium and salt.
You might notice a minor difference in the flavor of the foods with low sodium and salt content. However, dash diet for hypertension aims at healthy eating and reducing overeating. You can eat healthier foods, nutritious foods, and promote good health.