What Is the Dash Diet? a Complete Beginner’s Guide
DASH Diet is ranked as one of the two healthiest diets to follow in 2018 (1).
Sharing the top spot with the Mediterranean Diet.
It’s even outranking close to 40 other diets including the Weight Watchers Diet.
What Is the DASH Diet?
“DASH” is short for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension.
A condition that affects more than 1.1 billion people worldwide (2).
Researchers developed the DASH Diet to help people lower their blood pressure.
The diet emphasizes on eating veggies, fruits, lean meats, and whole grains.
These foods are known to prevent or reduce hypertension and lower the risk of heart disease.
This is because high blood pressure is far less seen in vegetarian-based diets.
The diet also limits salt intakes, red meats, added sugars, and fat.
A high intake of salt and red meats over time can lead to high blood pressure. Thus limiting them aids the condition.
What Makes Dash Diet Healthier Than Other Diets?
First, it’s medically created.
It was developed by the National Institutes of Health (3).
They wanted to create a nutrient-rich diet that would lower high blood pressure.
As a result, DASH is rich in plant-foods and lean meats. Examples include fruits, vegetables, beans, fish, and chicken.
Does Dash Diet Live up to Its Name?
Scientists and dietitians say yes.
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine professor, Edgar Miller praises its effectiveness.
Miller attests “The dash diet lowers blood pressure significantly.”
One essential way the DASH diet helps those with high blood pressure is its limited salt.
The standard DASH recommends a daily sodium intake of up to 1 teaspoon or 2,300 mg.
On a plan that’s even lower in sodium recommends up to 1,500 mg of salt. That’s only about a 3/4 teaspoon.
Another is its focus on fruits, veggies, and lean proteins. All while limiting sugar, fat, salt, and red meat.
By emphasizing on whole foods and managing portion, DASH brings a lot of benefits to hypertension.
Thanks to its focuses on the portions and foods dieters eat, DASH also naturally helps with weight loss.
Both for short and long term.
This is no surprise.
Foods high in sugar, fat, and salt, ones to be avoided on DASH tend to be high in calories.
By limiting them in your diet is a natural way to reduce your calories and lose weight.
This is why the DASH diet is also known as a weight loss diet.