Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) is a diet recommended for people who want to prevent or treat hypertension "also known as high blood pressure" and reduce their risk of heart disease. The DASH diet focuses on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats. The diet was created after researchers noticed that high blood pressure was much less common in people who followed a plant-based diet, such as vegans and vegetarians. That's why the DASH diet emphasizes fruits and vegetables while containing some lean protein sources like chicken, fish, and beans. The diet is low in red meat, salt, added sugars, and fat. Scientists believe that one of the main reasons people with high blood pressure can benefit from this diet is because it reduces salt intake. The regular DASH diet program encourages no more than 1 teaspoon (2,300 mg) of sodium per day, which is in line with most national guidelines. The lower-salt version recommends no more than 3/4 teaspoon (1,500 mg of sodium per day).

DASH Diet-What to eat?

  • Grains
  • Granola
  • Popping Corn
  • Brown Rice
  • Quinoa
  • Multigrain Bread
  • Corn Tortillas
  • Hot Rolled Oats
  • Vegetables
  • Cucumber
  • Orange Bell Pepper
  • Red Cabbage
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Broccoli
  • Mixed Greens
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Fruits
  • Pomegranate Seeds
  • Clementines
  • Honeycrisp Apples
  • Bananas
  • Strawberries
  • Raspberries
  • Pears
  • Avocados
  • Nuts
  • Almonds
  • Pistachios
  • Walnuts
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Organic Dried Fruit
  • Apricots
  • Raisins
  • Mango
  • Cranberries
  • Dairies
  • Low-fat Greek Plain Yogurt
  • Manchego Cheese
  • Romano Cheese
  • Lean Meats
  • Skinless Chicken Breasts
  • Center Cut Pork Loin
  • Chops
  • Monkfish
  • Salmon
  • Shrimp

Lower Blood Pressure

DASH diet demonstrably lowers blood pressure in both healthy people and those with high blood pressure. In studies, people on the DASH diet still experienced lower blood pressure even if they didn't lose weight or restrict salt intake. These low-salt DASH diet results were most impressive in people who already had high blood pressure, reducing systolic blood pressure by an average of 12 mmHg and diastolic blood pressure by 5 mmHg.

Other Potential Health Benefits

DASH may also affect other areas of health. The diet:

Decreases cancer risk: A recent review indicated that people following the DASH diet had a lower risk of some cancers, including colorectal and breast cancer.

Lowers metabolic syndrome risk: Some studies have shown that the DASH diet reduces your risk of metabolic syndrome by up to 81%.

Lowers diabetes risk: The diet has been linked to a lower risk of type 2 diabetes. Some studies demonstrate that it can improve insulin resistance as well.

Decreases heart disease risk: In a recent review in women, following a DASH-like diet was associated with a 20% lower risk of heart disease and a 29% lower risk of stroke.

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