Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, or DASH, is a diet guide specifically geared towards reducing blood pressure and preventing hypertension for people with elevated blood pressure.
The DASH diet also incorporates a balance of daily physical activity, smoking cessation, and medications necessary to lower blood pressure to healthy levels.
“The DASH diet and the Mediterranean diet are the two dietary styles recommended by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association for the prevention of stroke.” – Yasmine Ali, MD. For the record, the Mediterranean diet is probably my favorite diet as far as variety of flavors and nutritional value goes. Mediterranean cuisine is typically higher in polyunsaturated fats (plant-based fats), complex carbohydrates, lean protein and a lot of fresh vegetables.
The DASH diet is centered around decreasing:
1) total fat & saturated fat
2) high levels of dietary cholesterol
3) extraordinarily high levels of dietary sodium intake
1) Total vegetable intake
2) Total fiber intake
3) Total fruit intake
4) Potassium, calcium and magnesium intake
How can you get started on the DASH diet?
First, speaking to your physician or dietitian and make sure the DASH diet is right for you (and if you’re hypertensive chances are it will be). Then, you can go directly to the NHLBI Guide to Lowering Blood Pressure and learn as much about the DASH diet as possible so you understand it better going in.
Essentially this diet is a guide to healthy living that anybody can follow, hypertensive or not. Odds are if you’re following a healthy lifestyle (daily physical activity, high fruit & vegetable intake, high fiber intake, balanced meals, no smoking, etc.) your blood pressure is right where it needs to be. If not, then the DASH diet is a great opportunity to learn how to live a healthier lifestyle. I was taught the DASH diet in my Dietetics classes and the concept is something I wholeheartedly believe in.
The original post by Yasmine Ali on Verywell.com is right here if you want to check it out!