What is the DASH diet?

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It takes approx. 4 minutes to read this article

DASH is a diet designed primarily for people with high blood pressure, but its benefits go far beyond prevention and treatment of heart disease, which is why it has been at the top of healthy diet rankings for many years. How does the DASH diet work and what are its benefits? Read on to find out

DASH resembles the Mediterranean diet, which is dominated by:

  • fruits,
  • vegetables,
  • low fat dairy products,
  • whole grain flour products,
  • low-fat meat,
  • nuts,
  • legumes.

As you may have noticed, almost everything is allowed on this diet. You can start your day with whole-grain toast with peanut butter, have a salad of fresh vegetables or fruit for lunch, and enjoy baked salmon garnished with your favorite cereal or legumes for dinner.

What should you avoid?

These foods are probably familiar to you – but you shouldn’t eat them under any circumstances. Experts put them on a “black list”:

  • fatty meat,
  • high-fat dairy products,
  • processed foods,
  • sugar,
  • salt.

Pay special attention to avoiding salt. According to the principles of the DASH diet, a person should not consume more than 1500 mg of salt per day (about ¾ teaspoon), but people who do not suffer from hypertension can afford up to 2300 mg per day (about one teaspoon).

Photo: Pixabay

Why is this diet worth paying attention to?

The DASH diet has been shown to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. These amazing results, along with the ease of following the meal plan, have kept DASH at the top of its popularity for several years and is also recommended by the American Heart Association. What’s more, there’s another reason to choose the DASH diet – it’s weight loss

In a scientific study, more than 100 overweight and high blood pressure people were selected to test the effectiveness of the DASH diet. They were divided into three groups

  1. those following the principles of the DASH diet,
  2. sticking to the DASH diet and exercising,
  3. eating as usual

Four months later, the first and second groups lost an average of 8.5 pounds, the third group lost virtually nothing, and some even gained weight

Another interesting fact is that the DASH diet does not exclude alcohol, although it limits it significantly. Women can have one drink a day, and men two (one drink is considered 0.3 l of beer or 150 ml of wine).

According to experts

The DASH diet is considered to be one of the healthiest. Although it was created for patients with hypertension, such a diet will improve the well-being and health of everyone.

The advantage of the DASH diet is that it is really recommended by doctors and does not harm your health. The foods of the DASH diet are simple and inexpensive, and the diet forms the habit of eating properly.

What to cook on the DASH diet?

Blackened chicken with berry salad

Ingredients: any blend of spices, chicken breast, lettuce leaves, vegetables (grated carrots, radishes, tomato, peas, peppers, red cabbage), berries (raspberries, blueberries, strawberries), dressing without salt (any).

Mix chicken breast with spices and fry on grill pan without fat. Cut lettuce into strips. Add the vegetable and berry mixture. Cut the ready chicken breast into strips and place on top of the salad

Fritata

Ingredients: eggs, corn, tomatoes, onions, canola oil, basil, grated cheese (preferably low in fat and salt).

Mix eggs, add basil. Pour the oil into a non-stick skillet and place it over medium heat. Place the onion strips and corn in the pan. Fry for 3 minutes, stirring and turning constantly. Then add the tomatoes, continue stirring until the onions are translucent (this will take no more than 5 minutes). Add the eggs and basil to the mixture. When the mixture thickens, add cheese.

Photo Ella Olsson/Pexels

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