If you have regular high blood pressure then your doctor may suggest you the popular DASH Diet. DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, You will experience your systolic blood pressure drop by 8–14 points once you begin on the journey with this sought after diet for a healthier Life.
DASH Diet Ranked best diet for 7th year in a row by US News & World Report. Also Best for diabetes, heart health, and healthy eating. Originally designed to lower blood pressure, the DASH diet is also very effective for weight loss, lowering cholesterol, and managing or preventing diabetes.
The DASH diet includes vegetables, fruits, and low-fat dairy foods with minimum involvement of sodium. You can also enjoy red meat, sweets and fats but in small quantity. According to the American Heart Association recommends 1,500 mg a day of sodium intake in a day and should be followed for maximum benefit. Include moderate amount of whole grains, fish, poultry and nuts to complete the diet which includes a number of servings per day depending on your individual requirement and circumstances.
It’s a diet low in saturated fats, cholesterol and total fat, find the recommended servings from each food group for the 2,000 calorie a day DASH Diet:
Low in fat include grains like bread, cereal, rice and pasta. They are high in fiber and nutrients. Include whole grain instead of regular refined grains. Have at least 6 to 8 servings a day.
One Serving: Include 1 slice whole-wheat bread, 1 ounce dry cereal, or 1/2 cup cooked cereal, rice or pasta.
Include loads of veggies in your diet like tomatoes, carrots, broccoli, sweet potatoes and other greens as they are full of fiber, vitamins, and minerals like magnesium and potassium.
One Serving: 1 cup raw leafy vegetables or ½ cup raw or cooked vegetables, recommended 4–5 servings.
Fruits are not only delicious but highly nutritious, include them in your snacking and include at least 4 to 5 servings a day. Like vegetables they are packed with fiber, magnesium, potassium and are typically low in fat. Do not throw away the edible peels, they can be included in recipes and add interesting texture.
One Serving: Include one medium fruit, 1/2 cup fresh, frozen or canned fruit, or 4 ounces of juice, recommended 4–5 serving per day.
Dairy products have been promoted since birth for the obvious benefits it has for your health. It supplies calcium, vitamin and protein.
Have at least 2–3 servings a day and make sure to choose products that are low in fat or fat-free as it has high level of saturated fats.
One Serving: Include 1 cup skim or 1 percent milk, 1 cup low fat yogurt, or 1 1/2 ounces part-skim cheese. Go easy on regular and even fat-free cheeses because they are typically high in sodium. Recommended 2–3 servings per day.
Lean meat, poultry and fish:
Choose lean variety of meat which is a rich source of protein, B vitamins, iron and zinc. Include at least 6 servings or fewer a day.
Trim away skin and fat from poultry and meat and then bake, broil, grill or roast instead of frying in fat.
Eat heart-healthy fish, such as salmon, herring and tuna. These types of fish are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which can help lower your total cholesterol.
One Serving: 28 grams cooked lean meat, skinless poultry or fish, 1 egg (no more than 4 a week), 2 egg whites, recommended 6 servings or fewer in a day.
Nuts, seeds and legumes:
Almonds, sunflower seeds, kidney beans, peas, lentils and other foods in this family are good sources of magnesium, potassium and protein. They’re also full of fiber and phytochemicals, which are plant compounds that may protect against some cancers and cardiovascular disease and a recommendation of 4–5 servings is advisable.
One Serving: include 1/3 cup nuts, 2 tablespoons seeds, or 1/2 cup cooked beans or peas. Soybeans based products, such as tofu and tempeh is a good alternative meat providing complete protein while nuts high in calories provide the essential fast like omega-3 and mono saturated ones.
Fats and oils:
Fat helps your body absorb essential vitamins and reduce your risk of heart disease, diabetes, obesity and helps with your body’s immune system. Saturated fat and trans fat are the main dietary culprits in increasing your risk of coronary artery disease therefore it is best advisable to reduce their consumption to 6 percent of your total calories.
A 2 to 3 servings per day is enough for your overall body requirements. This diet focuses on limiting your total fat consumption to 30%, focusing on consuming healthier monounsaturated fats.
One Serving: Includes 1tbsp. mayonnaise, 2 tbsp. salad dressing and 1 tsp margarine.
While consuming sweets choose those that are fat free or low fats, such as fruit ices, jelly beans, hard candy, or low fat cookies. Make it not more than 5 servings or fewer in a week, examples of one serving include 1 tablespoon sugar, jelly or jam, 1/2 cup sorbet, or 1 cup lemonade.
Go easy and cut back on added sugar, which has no nutritional value but can pack on calories.
Alcohol and caffeine:
Drinking too much alcohol can increase blood pressure. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that men limit alcohol to no more than two drinks a day and women to one or less.
While caffeine temporarily rises your blood pressure, talk to your doctor about its consumption.