Is the DASH Diet Right for You?
Individuals opting for the DASH diet to reduce blood pressure can choose from a standard sodium diet plan with 2,300 milligrams of sodium each day or the lower sodium option that limits sodium to 1,500 milligrams a day. Regardless of the DASH diet plan chosen, the overall impact of eating healthy foods can result in not only lowered blood pressure but also the potential to lose weight. Individuals should consult with a physician and determine the best food plan that ensures a heart-healthy future.
Alternative to Medication
The DASH diet is designed to control and reduce blood pressure without the need for medication. Individuals committed to a healthy eating plan as an alternative to prescription blood pressure medication may find that the DASH diet is a viable option. The long-term food plan focuses on increasing nutrients rich in potassium, calcium and magnesium to lower and control blood pressure naturally, especially for people who battle high blood pressure and are at risk for heart disease or heart conditions.
In some cases, individuals on the DASH diet have been successful in reducing blood pressure within two weeks by just a few points. Over time, blood pressure could drop up to 12 points for individuals committed to the DASH diet plan.
Weight Loss Benefits
The DASH diet was not originally created to promote weight loss. Instead, it was designed to control and lower blood pressure. However, over the years, researchers have found that the DASH diet can aid in weight loss due to the heart-healthy food choices.
The core recommendations of this heart-healthy diet plan are to eat low-fat and non-dairy foods such as fruits and vegetables and seeds, nuts and beans, which ultimately help to reduce the amount of saturated fats and carbohydrates in the diet that can lead to weight gain. As a result, sustainable weight loss has been documented in patients committed to the long-term diet plan.
Healthy Food Choices
The DASH diet allows individuals to choose from a variety of healthy foods. Dieters are encouraged to eat more vegetables, fruits and low-fat dairy foods in addition to whole-grain foods, nuts and poultry. The DASH diet emphasizes the need to cut back on high-sodium foods, sugary drinks, red meats and sweets, as well as foods that are high in cholesterol, saturated fats and trans fats.
While many diets are considered fads and do not produce long-term results for individuals simply seeking to lose weight, the DASH diet