What is Dash Diet

What is Dash Diet?

What is Dash Diet?

The DASH diet, recommended by a division of the NIH in the United States to manage hypertension, emphasizes Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. It’s promoted by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI). This dietary approach prioritizes fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy, whole grains, nuts, and legumes, while also incorporating lean meats like fish and poultry. Sugary foods, red meat, and excessive fats are limited.

Maintaining blood pressure at or near the optimal level, ideally 120/80 mm Hg, is crucial for overall health. Even a slight elevation above this range can lead to various health complications, with higher levels posing greater risks. Research leading to the diet’s formulation focused on identifying specific dietary components that impact blood pressure. The DASH study investigated the synergistic effects of nutrients found in food.

The results from the DASH research

The primary discovery of the research reveals that adopting a diet low in saturated fats, total fat, and cholesterol leads to a reduction in blood pressure. This recommended diet emphasizes foods rich in magnesium, potassium, and calcium, as well as protein and fiber.

The DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) recommendations stemmed from evaluating three distinct eating plans. The first mirrored the typical American diet, the second differed by incorporating more fruits and vegetables, and the third adhered to the DASH diet principles. Each plan maintained a daily sodium intake of approximately 3000 milligrams, with no specialized foods included.

The study yielded results surpassing expectations. Both the diet plans featuring increased fruits and vegetables, alongside the DASH diet, notably improved symptoms. Particularly, the DASH diet showed significant benefits for individuals with high blood pressure, with noticeable improvements observed within just two weeks of dietary implementation. Among the 459 adults observed in the study, those with systolic blood pressures below 160 mm Hg and diastolic pressures ranging from 80 to 95 mm Hg at the study’s outset experienced reductions towards optimal levels. Approximately 27 percent of participants had hypertension, and among them, those adhering to the DASH diet experienced the most significant benefits.