Using The DASH Diet to Help Reduce High Blood Pressure
One of the major medical conditions that many Americans have to deal with today is hypertension or high blood pressure.
While many are able to control their blood pressure with prescription medications, others have found that they can achieve similar results just by following a better diet.
The DASH diet was developed specifically for dealing with high blood pressure.
While hereditary factors can be a major cause of hypertension, in many cases, the quantity and types of foods that a person eats can also have a significant effect on whether or not one develops high blood pressure.
Today, this disease affects over 65 million people and it can be a serious issue for their overall health. This disease can cause damage to the heart, arteries and many other vital organs in the body.
The primary focus of the DASH Diet is in providing a diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables, low-fat or non-fat dairy products and whole grains. In addition, this diet also has an increase in nutrients and minerals such as potassium, calcium and magnesium, which are known to help in bringing one’s blood pressure down.
The DASH diet along with a reduction in one’s sodium or salt intake is recommended to may patients by their physicians to help in reducing hypertension, high blood pressure or pre-hypertension. The plan is endorsed by many health organizations including the American Heart Association, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, as well as the Mayo Clinic.
The actual diet plan is not difficult to follow for most people, but it does include high numbers of fruit and vegetable servings which some find hard to adjust to at first.
The DASH Diet Meal Plan
A typical daily portion can include as much as six servings of fruits and six servings of vegetables. In many cases, this can be more than double what a person is currently eating. Grains are also drastically increased on the plan, with a daily portion being from six to 12 servings. Other portions on the diet include low-fat or non-fat dairy with 2 to 4 servings daily, lean meats/fish/poultry at 1.5 to 2.5 servings a day, nuts/seeds/legumes at 3 to 6 per week and fats/sweets with 2 to 4 servings per day.
With such a wide assortment of food groups, one of the best benefits of the DASH diet is that it is easier to follow than other diet plans can be. There is a wide range of recipes and meals that one can make using these foods and this can help in allowing a person to make this diet not just a temporary change, but a permanent change in their lifestyle.
The Dash Diet Eating Plan – Free Download
For many who start this way of eating, their blood pressure can begin to drop in as little as two weeks. In addition, though the diet was not necessarily designed to help one lose weight, many people begin to lose weight just by adapting the eating plan. For those who combine this diet with an increase in physical exercise of just 30 minutes per day, their results can be even better.
There are relatively few negatives with this eating plan. Some people find the decrease of sodium and salt to be a tough adjustment in the beginning, but gradually they are able to overcome this obstacle. In addition, because of the increase in fiber some may experience increased bloating and/or diarrhea.
However, for most people the DASH diet has led to a healthier way of eating and a life that has less medical issues.