Have you heard about the DASH diet? In recent times DASH has become synonymous with the Kardashian Reality TV stars but the diet was coined long before our favorite family went on air.
This diet is one of the most successful sets of guidelines that help to promote and maintain a healthy heart.
While its primary cause was to help those with high blood pressure, anyone struggling with poor eating habits would benefit from this dietary approach.
When did it start?
The research started almost 20 years ago when it was found that the number one health threat amongst men and women was heart disease. Be it the result of lifestyle choices or because of an inherited illness, heart disease was the cause for every 1 in 4 deaths recorded in America.
While there is no set cure for heart disease, researchers were able to develop an eating plan that has since improved the lives of those living with heart issues.
The name DASH means Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension and has proved to be the most effective in terms of improving heart health.
What is it?
Essentially the diet works around controlling the portions sizes. It must be controlled as a daily practice. Each day your diet must include 6-8 servings of whole grains, 4-5 servings of fruit and vegetables, 2-3 servings of healthy fats and oils and 2-3 servings of fat-free dairy.
There must be no more than 6 servings of meat, no more than 2300 milligrams of sodium and only 1 serving of alcohol per day.
On a weekly level, you may consume no more than 5 servings of sweets or sugary treats and have between 4-5 servings of nuts, seeds or legumes.
How does it help?
By keeping yourself accountable for your daily consumption it makes you more aware of what you chose to put in your body. Breaking the food groups up into portion sizes means that you eliminate processed or fast foods from your diet.
The diet ensures that each day you get the necessary amount of fruits and vegetables as well as monitoring the amount of salt that you add to your food.
The primary aim of this diet is to improve one’s heart health by decreasing high blood pressure and that is exactly what it does if you follow it correctly.
Added benefits of following the DASH diet is loss of excess weight, thanks to the healthy foods your brain function improves as well.
With any diet, it is not only what you put on your plate that improves your health but also how you treat your body.
Going for a walk, taking the stairs instead of the elevator and similar things with brilliantly paired with the improved diet.
If you are struggling with high blood pressure or have been diagnosed with heart disease, it is always important to get advice from your doctor. Any diet or exercise plan is not a substitute for a doctor’s assessment and prescription.