DASH diet is a meal plan which is meant to help people with high blood pressure. Along with controlling hypertension, it has also been noticed to help maintain a healthy cholesterol level. It is a set of meals which are high in micronutrients, which are essential in the nourishment of the human body without raising cholesterol. Recent studies have shown that by following the DASH diet properly, you can lose excess body fat too. It would be safe to assume that the DASH diet is the ultimate meal plan which aims to provide followers with a healthy lifestyle.
The exciting thing is, the DASH diet was not meant as a plan which would help people lose weight like many others. However, it was figured that people who were following this diet lost weight and became much healthier than before. Another thing is that this diet was planned for an average person. It did not mean to help a specific community but everyone who wanted to control their blood pressure level.
Nowadays, there are multiple diet plans which one can follow, and therefore, it can be hard to see why the DASH diet should be their choice. This diet is set to give you a healthy working body by excluding high consumption of fats and salts.
DASH Diet: A Brief History
DASH diet is an abbreviated composed of acronyms which stand for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. This plan of controlling your daily diet was endorsed by a health institute located in the USA. This National Heart, Lung, and Blood institute came up with this technique to help people who are a victim of hypertension. The basic concept behind this diet is to provide the essential nutrients to the body which give energy, and it excludes foods and drinks which are have added fats, sugars, and other contents which can add to hypertension.
Research on DASH Diet
Before coining the DASH diet, NIH (Nation Institute of Health) closely observed three major diet plans which have been there for a more extended period. The conclusion of results from this observation showed that these plans were not vegetarian and failed to achieve the maximum amount of positive influence on the health of people who were following them. It was noted that after following the DASH diet, systolic blood pressure was decreased by 6 mm Hg whereas diastolic blood pressure by 3 mm Hg in patients of blood pressure.
There were three different diet plans, which were contrasted and taken into consideration. Researchers increased and decreased the number of components that were consumed by an average person to see what suited them the best. There was no one final plan in the start, which gives the DASH diet more weight. This diet was aimed to control hypertension and other conditions rather than lowering body weight. Researchers made sure to consider the food that was rich in nutrients but excluded the number of fats.
Focus On Heart Health
DASH diet was further taken into consideration for more adjustments. It was noticed that by including more vegetables and excluding some other things, this diet would play an important role in controlling health for people with heart diseases. This showed that there was a need to increase meals which were abundant in macronutrients like carbohydrates. It was also figured that there was a need to control the intake of saturated fats and meals with a high level of cholesterol to control blood pressure as well as unpleasant heart conditions.
When the DASH diet was still under the process of experiments, researchers realized that certain foods do tend to affect blood pressure; some negatively while others positively. Then it was decided to include meals which were suitable for blood pressure and heart and exclude meals which upset normal blood pressure. Another thing is that it was not aimed for a specific group; instead, it was designed for anyone who wanted a healthy meal plan.
After including these factors, a final version of the DASH diet was released, which came to be known as number one of ‘Best Diets Overall’ as well as the best ‘For Healthy Eating’ plan. It was ranked as second position holder in ‘For Diabetes’ category whereas third in ‘For Heart Health.’ DASH diet has come to be known as the best diet plan for people who look forward to achieving a lifestyle which would keep their blood pressure level under control as well as get rid of minor or significant conditions concerning the heart.
This diet was certainly not a definite system like many others, followed by people. Instead, the process of coming up with this plan was slow and well-thought-out and this is why DASH diet gains more leverage when it is compared to other diets, including the famous Atkin’s diet plan. It is not only targeting your weight; it is targeting your overall health, which is also another reason to pick this diet.
Benefits of the DASH Diet
DASH diet is an all-in-one diet which has helped many people achieves good health and posture as well. There are several things which this diet plan helps you with.
The exciting thing about the DASH diet is that it was designed to help people with hypertension. When you follow this diet, your heart rate will stay leveled and under control. Patients with heart conditions and diabetes have been noticed to profit from the DASH diet and even become healthier as a result.
It is important to consume all the essential nutrients that are important to maintain energy level, but the DASH diet helps you do that without consuming any extra fats which might upset your blood pressure. It also lowers your consumption of salt, which is another ingredient that you are consuming in your average meal in daily routine. By reducing your salt intake, you are at less risk of high blood pressure than you are when you are consuming your typical food.
DASH Diet and Weight Control
DASH diet will also help you get a grip on your ever-increasing weight. If you are tired of crash diets and scared of bariatric surgery, it is suggested that you start following the DASH diet. When you go on a crash diet, you start losing essential macronutrients and naturally give birth to many other diseases in your body. But once you are following a diet plan which is designed to lower your fat consumption, you will lose weight naturally, and it will have long term effects as well. Controlled weight means lower blood pressure and cholesterol level as well. DASH diet will help you achieve a healthy body by adopting a good lifestyle instead of draining your energy.
When the DASH diet was improved, the goal was to control cholesterol level in obese or even average person as well. If the cholesterol level is not controlled, you might end up developing heart diseases, and therefore, you must follow this diet plan to avoid any unpleasant circumstances.
When you are consuming enough vegetables and fruit in your daily diet plan, you will see that your heart rate is more controlled than it used to be. Especially if you have diabetes already, the DASH diet is your way to look after yourself. Many doctors recommend the DASH diet to patients with diabetes because it has been noticed to lower the rate of strokes, heart failure, and other conditions. If you do not have diabetes, the risk of this disease will be minimized as a result of following this diet plan.
Meal Plan for Children
Keep in mind that the DASH diet considers meals which are high in micronutrients but low in Sodium Chloride and fats which harm your system. It is not only a plan which is made for adults, but also children and teenagers as well. If your child is obese, they are at risk of developing unpleasant conditions but if you give them meals which follow DASH diet you can help them adopt a healthy lifestyle without really losing energy which they need in their daily life for everyday activities.
Positive Mental Effects
Besides helping with physical conditions, the DASH diet also has a positive effect on your mental health. Research shows that an average meal can leave a negative impact on your mental health as well. It slows down your activity and leaves imprints on your personal life. A diet plan which does not provide enough nutrients but has a high amount of fats in it will also lower the amount of activity your brain can handle. DASH diet will automatically release any stress if you follow it regularly. Fresh vegetables, nuts, and other grains will strengthen the amount of activity that your brain can handle. It means that you will work more efficiently as well.
The DASH diet is one of the healthiest diet plans which hardly have any side effects. If you want to adopt a healthy lifestyle, quit your average daily meal plan and follow this diet which helps you combat several health issues at a time without neglecting any vital macronutrient that is needed to maintain health. You can also lose weight, which will help you control your cholesterol level as well as blood pressure. You can achieve a healthy body and mind without following any medication if you regularly follow the DASH diet.
It might be a little hard for you to follow when you start your diet plan but once you are addicted to a healthy lifestyle, honestly there is no going back.