Are you wondering if there is a healthy diet that will help you with your high blood pressure? then you are at the right place!
Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) is a lifelong diet approach in which it’s designed for this particular purpose.
Initially this diet was developed when some researchers noticed that high blood pressure was less common in Vegetarians and Vegans.
DASH emphasizes fruits and vegetables with moderate amounts of lean protein sources like chicken, fish and beans. The diet is low in red meat, salt, added sugars and fat.
It’ll also help you in reducing the sodium in your diet and eat a variety of foods rich in nutrients that help lower blood pressure, such as potassium, calcium and magnesium.
Following DASH correctly may help you in reducing your blood pressure by a few points in 2 weeks and 8-14 points upon long term where it’ll make a significant difference in your health risks.
There are 2 versions of DASH; Standard and Lower Sodium DASH:
- Standard DASH diet. You can consume up to 2,300 milligrams (mg) of sodium a day.
- Lower sodium DASH diet. You can consume up to 1,500 milligrams (mg) of sodium a day.
- What to eat?
Here’s a quick overview at the recommended servings from each food group for the 2,000-calorie-a-day DASH diet:
- Grains (Bread, Cereal, Rice and Pasta): 6 to 8 servings a day.
- Fruits (Avocado, Lemon, Raspberries): 4 to 5 servings a day.
- Dairy (Milk, Cheese and Yogurt): 2 to 3 servings a day.
- Fats and oils (Soft Margarine): 2 to 3 servings a day.
- Nuts, seeds and legumes (Almonds, Sunflower Seeds, Kidney Beans, Peas, Lentils): 4 to 5 servings a week.
- Vegetables (Tomatoes, carrots, Broccoli, Sweet Potatoes, Greens and other Vegetables): 4 to 5 servings a day.
- Lean meat, poultry and fish (Egg, Meat, Poultry or Fish): 6 one-ounce servings or fewer a day.
- Sweets (Jelly or Jam): 5 servings or fewer a week.
- 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 2 drinks a day and women to 1/ less.
The DASH diet doesn’t address caffeine consumption. The influence of caffeine on blood pressure remains unclear, but caffeine can cause your blood pressure to rise at least temporarily.
- Tips to cut back on sodium
- Using sodium-free spices or flavorings with your food instead of salt.
- Not adding salt when cooking rice, pasta or hot cereal.
- Rinsing canned foods to remove some of the sodium.
- Buying foods labeled “no salt added,” “sodium-free,” “low sodium” or “very low sodium”.