Over the last several decades, hypertension in Americans has increased dramatically, leading the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) to learn how diet affects blood pressure. As a result of the extensive studies performed, the DASH Diet was born. Dr. Marla Heller, who specializes in taking nutrition science and translating it into real life, wrote her book, The DASH Diet Action Plan, based on the research done by the NHLBI.
Is the DASH Diet diet right for you?
- 1Do you have high blood pressure?
- 2 Are you at risk for hypertension or diabetes?
- 3Do you want to reduce your cholesterol?
- 4Do you want an affordable diet plan?
- 5Does a modest diet and fitness plan appeal to you?
The DASH Diet promise to you?
DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. The main promise that this diet makes to consumers is that it will help lower blood pressure in as little as 2 weeks. Other benefits that are stated are a lower cholesterol level, reduced risk of stroke, heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis, and if coupled with moderate exercise it can reduce insulin resistance.
This diet was not originally designed to help people lose weight, although, many who followed the program have lost weight. There are versions of the diet that have been modified to help individuals who want to lose weight.
The Theory and Details Behind the DASH Diet diet
The DASH Diet combines portion control, eating the right nutrients, and eating a variety of foods to accomplish its goals. One of the biggest features of this diet is its low sodium content. The studies done by the NHLBI found that large amounts of salt raised blood pressure and contributed to the rise of many other health issues.
The average American consumes up to 3500mg of sodium a day which is more than 1000mg more than they actually need according to the USDA 2010 Dietary Guidelines. The average American needs less than 2300 mg of sodium a day and less than 1500 mg a day if they are older than 51.
Because the sodium needs vary according to age and health conditions, there are two versions of the diet: The Standard DASH Diet and the Lower-Sodium DASH Diet. Both lower the amount of sodium that the average person consumes but one reduces sodium even more for those who are extra sensitive to sodium, mainly the elderly and African Americans.
The diet can be difficult to implement and sustain for those who are not used to eating lots of fruits and vegetables. Using Dr. Hellers book can make the change a little easier as she provides suggested steps to ease the transformation.
The DASH Diet is family-friendly and can be adopted by everyone at the dinner table. Teaching children and teenagers healthy eating habits is very important to giving them health later in life and giving them the best chance at avoiding some of the diet related diseases that attend bad eating habits.
What Health Care Professionals Say About the DASH Diet diet
The DASH Diet comes highly recommended. It was ranked #1 diet overall by the U.S. News & World Report. It is also endorsed by The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, The American Heart Association, The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, US guidelines for treatment of high blood pressure, The 2011 AHA Treatment Guidelines for Women, and formed the basis for the USDA MyPlate. It is a scientifically proven method to lower blood pressure, however, if you are looking for a diet to help you lose weight, ask your doctor before choosing this option. He will be able to help you modify the DASH diet portions to help you reach your weight loss goals.
Examples of DASH Diet Meals: #1
|Breakfast||Applesauce & Oatmeal with light yogurt, pineapple juice, and a whole wheat english muffin.|
|Lunch||Waldorf Salad with a side of baby carrots & Cantalope, non-fat milk, and a dinner roll.|
|Snack||One Kiwi & a stick of light string cheese|
|Dinner||Roasted Chicken breast and a baked potato with a side salad and asparagus.|
|Dessert||Apple crisp with yogurt|
Examples of DASH Diet Meals: #2
|Breakfast||Wheat Cereal with Raspberries & Skim Milk, Orange Juice, Cinnamon Raisin English Muffin with Cream Cheese|
|Lunch||Whole Wheat, Turkey, Swiss Cheese Sandwich, Minestrone Soup & Coleslaw|
|Snack||Clementine & Almonds|
|Dinner||Grilled Salmon Red Potatoes Green Beans & Italian Bread|
|Dessert||Berry Sundae Smoothie|
The Dash Diet Weight Loss Solution
Book written by Marla Heller based on the research done by the National Institute of Health
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