The term DASH it means Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension . Its creation goes back to the year 1997 thanks to the work done by a group of American scientists, and in its translation it means basically Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension . Although it is true that the first tests go back to the year 1993.
We must indicate that this study was finally completed with DASH-Sodium, which had the objective of analyzing the effect that salt included in the diet has on blood pressure. The results were clear: the benefits were greater on hypertension when the DASH diet with a low salt intake.
So, The DASH diet stands out not only because it is a food plan, but because it is a real change in the style of eating of the people who follow it.
What is the DASH diet? What does it consist of?
Under the name of DASH We found a type of diet that was specially designed for both the treatment and the reduction of high blood pressure. In fact, as its name suggests, it consists of a nutritional plan to "stop hypertension."
It consists of a type of diet that is mainly characterized by being based on low sodium foods . That is, it is a type of diet that stands out above all for being low in sodium (salt). Further, It is very rich in nutrients , especially in nutrients that help reduce hypertension, such as potassium, magnesium or calcium.
In this sense, the DASH diet decreases the amount of sodium in the diet to 2300 mg. of sodium per day. While, in turn, some related studies have found that lower sodium levels to 1500 mg. a day reduces blood pressure even much more.
However, it is not just a type of diet. It is also ultimately a change and improvement in the lifestyle of the hypertensive person. We could summarize its main keys in three points:
- Decreased sodium in the diet: Either decrease the amount of sodium up to 2300 mg per day, or up to 1500 mg per day if the person already suffers from high blood pressure, chronic kidney disease or diabetes.
- Consumption of certain foods rich in nutrients: These nutrients help in turn to reduce hypertension (potassium, magnesium and calcium). For example, it is a type of diet that abounds in the consumption of fresh vegetables and fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts (especially nuts), seeds and vegetable oils. Fish, poultry and meat are also recommended in lean form, and non-fat or low-fat dairy products.
- Practice of physical exercise: It is also recommended to practice physical exercise for at least 30 minutes every day, every day of the week. The advisable thing is that the physical exercise is rather of moderate intensity.
The benefits of the DASH diet: not only for high blood pressure
The truth is that we are faced with a type of diet, or change in eating style, which not only offers interesting benefits in reducing high blood pressure. And it is that it is, in fact, a low diet not only in sodium but also in fat , based on the consumption of natural and fresh foods, which stand out precisely because of their low content in both sodium and saturated fats. Therefore, in reality, it is a type of diet that should not be delimited as a nutritional treatment against high blood pressure.
And what are those interesting benefits:
- Help reduce high blood pressure: Different scientific studies have found that the DASH diet, combined with the practice of physical exercise, helps positively to reduce blood pressure levels by up to 10 points. This quality is found in this diet not only for its low sodium content, but for containing nutrients rich in nutrients that help regulate the water balance.
- Useful against high cholesterol and high triglycerides: It has been shown that the DASH diet also helps positively in case of hypercholesterolemia and high triglycerides, precisely because it is a type of food that includes fresh seasonal foods, rich in fiber, antioxidants and other nutrients that help to reduce high levels of fats in the blood.
- Very interesting in case of diabetes: If you have diabetes this is a tremendously interesting and appropriate type of diet, since it helps prevent and prevent many of the complications associated with this disease, among which is kidney disease.
Diet plan of the DASH diet and tips to follow it
The DASH diet It basically consists of simple guidelines to follow. Here we discover how is the diet plan of this diet:
- Vegetables : 4 or 5 servings every day. Especially those that are rich in potassium, fiber and magnesium.
- Fruits : 4 or 5 servings a day. Fruits such as banana, pineapple, grapes, or peaches are recommended, among others.
- Chicken, fish or non-red meat : 2 or less daily rations.
- Whole grains : 7 or 8 servings, taking into consideration that a ration is understood as half a cup of cooked cereal or a slice of bread.
- Low-fat, low-fat dairy : 2 or 3 daily servings.
- Nuts, legumes or seeds : 4 weekly servings Highlights: almonds, lentils, walnuts, beans, etc.
- Fat : from 2 to 3 daily servings. For example: 1 serving is considered 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil.
- Sweet : less than 5 servings a week, taking into account that 1 serving is 1 teaspoon of sugar or, for example, 15 grams of candies.
In addition to taking into account what is the basis and how is the dietary plan of the DASH diet, it is necessary to know that we at home can easily follow it by adopting some simple tips and habits. The key is in:
- Add seasonal and fresh foods, such as vegetables and fruits. An excellent option is to add salads or cooked vegetables at lunch and dinner. And the fruits add them to breakfast, snack and between meals.
- Do not add salt to the food we prepare. And, in turn, remove the salt shaker both from the kitchen and from the table.
- As a substitute for salt, we can choose spices or herbs, ideal for flavoring the foods we cook and will help us to season them in a healthier way.
As we see, although the DASH diet is an excellent type of food for people with high blood pressure, or at risk of suffering from this type of pathology, the truth is that it is a type of natural diet highly recommended to enjoy good health.