One of the most widely recommended diets for better health and wellness is the DASH Diet. To assist patients in managing or preventing high blood pressure, this eating plan is frequently suggested by healthcare professionals. However, this way of eating can have additional positive effects on one’s health. By following the DASH diet, you might be able to lower your cholesterol levels and lower your risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers.
You will consume more whole grains, fruits, and vegetables on this diet. You will consume less sodium, added sugars, and fat. You should be able to develop a satiating meal plan that you can adhere to for the rest of your life by gradually making small dietary changes.
What is Dash diet?
The DASH Diet doesn’t require you to count calories. This 7-day meal plan and recipe will help you reach your calorie goals. Instead, you create a daily meal plan that includes portions of various food groups. However, each food group’s serving size is determined by a recommended calorie goal. Therefore, you will need to set a calorie goal prior to beginning the DASH Diet.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH)’s DASH Diet guides offer suggestions for determining the ideal calorie count. Age, gender, and level of activity are used to calculate these numbers. The following are the categories of activity level:
Sedentary: You engage in light daily activities that are part of your normal routine. Physical activity is not required by your position.
Activity Level: You walk about one to three miles per day at speeds of three to four miles per hour, which is equivalent to physical activity. You also engage in moderate physical activity, such as gardening or housekeeping.
You engage in moderate physical activity in addition to walking more than three miles per day at speeds of three to four miles per hour. If your job requires you to be physically active on a regular basis, you might be considered active.
You can use the chart below to figure out how many calories the plan needs after you’ve determined how active you are.
For instance, the Mifflin St. Jeor equation is used in a calorie calculator to determine your resting metabolic rate. That is the amount of calories your body needs to function when it is at rest.1 The calculator then adds the amount of calories you need to fuel your body for daily activity based on information about your unique lifestyle. Last but not least, it either makes you eat more to make you gain weight or less to help you lose weight.
For those who are trying to lose weight, the DASH Diet provides guidelines for serving sizes. Therefore, you can still use DASH guides to determine the appropriate number of servings for each food group if you use the calorie calculator and determine that your ideal daily calorie goal is 1,200 or 1,400 calories (or more).
Tips for Hydration While adjusting to the DASH diet, it may be easier for you to maintain your energy levels and feel full and satisfied between meals if you drink plenty of water. When you are thirsty, it is not uncommon to have a food craving. But it’s important to choose beverages that are good for DASH. There are some drinks that you should cut back on or stop drinking.
Even though there aren’t any specific rules for beverages, the general advice to cut back on sodium and sugar will help you decide what to drink.
Sodas and other beverages with added sugar will be less of a problem for you if you stick to the DASH diet. There should be no more than three servings per week for those who consume between 1,200 and 1,600 calories. If you want to eat 1,800 to 2,000 calories per day, you shouldn’t eat more than five servings per week. If you want more calories, you can eat two servings per day. A cup of sweetened beverage is considered a serving.
As an example, if you stick to a daily calorie range of 1,200 to 1,600 and consume a 12-ounce soda, which is equivalent to 1.5 servings of sweets, you will only have 1.5 servings left over for the entire week. One serving of sugar, according to the DASH diet, contains:
1 cup (8 fluid ounces) sugar-sweetened lemonade 1 tablespoon sugar 1 tablespoon jelly or jam 1/2 cup sorbet If you can, opt for water or flavored seltzer instead of soda.
Another option is diet soda. An artificially sweetened soda or tea would not be considered a sweet because they do not contain sugar. The health community, on the other hand, has expressed some uncertainty regarding the health benefits of artificially sweetened beverages. In fact, artificial sweeteners consumption has even been linked to negative health outcomes like high blood pressure in some studies. 2 If you like to drink soda, you might want to use diet soda as a way to cut back on sugar. Try drinking water instead of soda at some point to keep your body hydrated and healthy.
Juice of fruits and vegetables is considered to be a serving of fruit on the DASH Diet. 1/2 cup of fruit juice is equivalent to one serving. Fruit juice will assist you in meeting your daily fruit intake requirements, which range from three to six servings.
However, consuming whole fruit rather than juice is suggested by some health experts. In addition to fiber and more vitamins and minerals, whole fruit helps you feel fuller for longer while containing fewer calories. For instance, one cup of raspberries has 60 calories and 8 grams of fiber, while half a cup of orange juice has 60 calories and 0 grams of fiber.
Additionally, prior to choosing juice as your beverage, read the labels. It is no longer considered a serving of fruit but rather a serving of sweets if your preferred juice contains added sugar. Additionally, some vegetable juices contain sodium additions. Brands with added sodium are not a good choice because reducing sodium intake is one of the DASH Diet’s primary objectives.
Beverages containing alcohol The DASH Diet has no specific alcohol restrictions. However, if you drink alcohol, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) suggests that you do so in moderation. Women should drink no more than one drink per day and men should drink no more than two drinks per day to be considered moderate drinkers.
Also, if you drink alcohol, mixers should be avoided. Tonic water and fruit mixers may contain added sugar, and other mixers may contain sodium.
Is There a Place for Alcohol in a Healthy Diet?
The DASH Diet’s meal plan and shopping list make it relatively simple to shop. You can get everything you need at the supermarket near you. However, you should learn to read nutrition labels to look for high sodium and fat content.
Meat and poultry low in sodium and fat are on the DASH Diet Plan and Shopping List. Fruit: Berries, bananas, citrus, apples, mangoes, and pineapple vegetables like broccoli, asparagus, cucumber, carrots, potatoes, and so forth.
Eggs Salmon, trout, and halibut Almonds, walnuts, and sunflower seeds Low-fat plain yogurt Sodium Your goal on the DASH Diet is to consume 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day. Talk to your doctor about lowering it further to 1,500 milligrams per day once you reach that level. The average American consumes 3,400 milligrams of sodium daily. The majority of that is caused by processed food sodium.
On the DASH Diet, there are two ways to look for foods with less sodium when shopping. To begin, you can determine the amount of sodium in the product by reading the labels on the front of the package. The meanings of different phrases vary.
A food that does not contain salt or sodium means that it has less than five milligrams of sodium per serving. The term “very low sodium” refers to foods that have a sodium content of 35 milligrams or less per serving. The term “low sodium” refers to foods that have a sodium content of 140 milligrams or less per serving. Each 3-1/2 ounce (100 gram) serving of a low-sodium meal contains 140 milligrams or less of sodium. The food is light in sodium if it has 50% less sodium than the regular version.
When a product is labeled “unsalted” or “no salt added,” it means that no salt was added to it during processing (this is not a sodium-free food).
Read the Nutrition Facts label to find out how much sodium is in a product. Cholesterol is listed below sodium in the middle of the label. Try to choose foods with less than 5% of the recommended daily amount of sodium. High sodium foods are those with at least 20% sodium in their daily value.
As a general rule, opt for frozen, fresh, or plain vegetables because they typically contain less sodium than canned ones. Always rinse vegetables from cans thoroughly. By doing this, you can cut the sodium by about half.
Compared to products that have been marinated, canned, smoked, brined, or cured, sodium levels in fresh or frozen skinless poultry, fish, and lean meat cuts are lower. Finally, read the labels of processed cheese, salad dressing, condiments, and even baked goods like bread and crackers. More sodium is in many of these foods than you might think.