For years, scientists have been arguing about which diet is the best. You have certainly heard about the many benefits of the Mediterranean diet, but do you know the DASH diet? This new way of eating has been developed in the United States - a country that you know not only as a source of the greatest medical discoveries, but also as a place struggling with an obesity epidemic.
DASH is an abbreviation for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, or Dietary Treatment for the Purpose of Hypertension. It means a diet for too high pressure, which you can, or even should, apply throughout your life. DASH was developed by the National Institute of Health in the United States to reduce pressure without the need for medication.
The main role of the DASH diet is to lower sodium intake and to eat a variety of nutrient-rich foods that help lower blood pressure. These include potassium, calcium and magnesium.
The DASH diet allows you to lower the pressure by a few points in two weeks. Later, the systolic pressure (upper number) decreases by 8 to 14 points. You may think that this is not much, but this improvement can reduce the risk of losing health. The DASH diet is more than a hypertensive diet, it is a healthy way of eating. DASH diet recommendations are consistent with diet recommendations that prevent osteoporosis, cancer, heart disease, stroke and diabetes.
The researchers noticed that people on plant-based diets (such as veganism or vegetarianism) are less likely to have hypertension. For this reason, the DASH diet consists mainly of vegetables, fruits and low-fat dairy products, moderate amounts of whole grains, fish, poultry, legumes and nuts, and small amounts of red meat, salt, abnormally present sugars and fat. However, why is the DASH diet so effective? According to scientists, this is due to the small amount of sodium in the diet.
In the standard version of the DASH diet, you can consume up to 2.3 grams of sodium per day.
In the low-sodium version, you can only consume up to 1.5 grams of sodium per day.
Both versions of the diet are aimed at reducing sodium intake. For comparison, a typical American diet (the so-called "SAD diet", i.e. a sad diet) may contain 3.4 grams of sodium per day or more.
However, scientists can be wrong! Other studies show that people who follow the DASH diet will lower their blood pressure even if they do not limit their salt intake. It is possible that the whole magic of the DASH diet lies in the high intake of vegetables, fruits, low-fat dairy products and reduction of fat intake (especially saturated). Sounds hard? The DASH diet is unique also because it allows for certain deviations, and at the same time preserves pro-health properties. So you do not have to worry that after many days of titanic effort, you will lose the remains of strong will and throw yourself at unhealthy food. On the DASH diet you can cheat a little and you will not bear the consequences.
Promises to be interesting? Less terribly? It's fun?
In that case, it's time to find out what this diet is all about!
Here is another advantage of the DASH diet - the end of product lists that you can not eat and those you have to eat on a regular basis. The DASH diet is diverse, it recommends specific numbers of portions of different categories of food products. Below you will find an example of the DASH diet for a person on a 2000 calorie diet.
Grain products - 6 to 8 servings a day
You can find them in bread, cereal, rice or pasta. One serving is, for example, a slice of whole grain bread or half a cup of cooked oatmeal, rice or pasta.
Focus on whole grains, because it contains more fiber and nutrients than purified cereals. Replace white brown rice, plain pasta, wholemeal bread, and white bread - wholemeal bread. Check the compositions, because some dark breads are artificially colored with caramel. Cereal products are naturally low-fat and for the sake of the diet let it be - instead of spreading the bread with butter or margarine, use low-fat white cheese.
You can read about the other ingredients of the DASH diet in the second part of the article.