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How the DASH Diet Stops Hypertension and Helps You Lose Weight

DASH Diet Stops HypertensionWhen doing your research into healthy lifestyle strategies, the DASH diet is bound to come up early in your queries.  Along with the Mediterranean diet, this perspective on eating is often applauded within the medical community.

If you have never heard of the DASH diet, then you may not realize just how helpful it can be for a variety of reasons. Amidst so many diets out there that are based solely on fads and trends that don’t make sense, this is a diet that can truly help you to get to where you want to be.

Though it does take a hard stance on the wrong foods, it can also help you to lose weight in a way that incorporates good health principles. So if you are sick of the diets that promote bad habits for long term weight loss, this is a diet well worth looking at. This will help you to lose weight in the proper way and keep it off for the long term.

The DASH Diet for Long-Term Health

The DASH diet is all about helping to lower blood pressure levels that may be elevated, also known as hypertension. As a matter of fact that was the whole reason that this diet was created in the first place. This was very much about helping patients to lower their elevated blood pressure levels by choosing proper, healthy, and balanced foods.

The idea was that proper diet can help to make the change and lower the levels naturally. So throughout this philosophy and these health principles came about a great idea to help people to lose weight. Though that was not the original intention of the DASH diet it does work quite well to accomplish that.

Truly Healthy Eating Can Help You To Accomplish All of Your Goals

The idea behind the DASH diet is to eat healthy natural foods to help you to reach your goals. This starts by cutting out red meat and any fatty meats, so no more dark meat even from poultry and all skin cut off. You also are going to dramatically cut back on your salt intake.

You are focused on lean proteins that are low in fat and calories such as chicken, turkey, and lots of fish. The DASH diet also promotes true whole grains, very limited amounts of low fat dairy products, and loads of fruits and vegetables. You are not really eating any processed foods, but rather focusing on these foods in their purest and most whole form.

From Heart Health to Weight Control

So the idea of the DASH diet was originally to help patients to lower their blood pressure levels without or with a limited amount of medication. When you combine this type of diet with regular exercise and a truly healthy lifestyle, it can help patients to get rid of hypertension through these natural methods.

The same philosophy and principles of the DASH diet can also help you to lose weight in the proper way. You can take the weight off using a healthy diet and really make better habits moving forward for yourself—and that’s a true win win!

Beyond Losing Weight

Many people follow the DASH diet in order to achieve an overall healthy body.  One component of that is, of course, proper weight management.  That said, it goes far beyond losing weight.  In fact, weight loss is more of a side effect of this diet than an actual direct goal.  Instead, it is meant to be used to help get a number of health conditions under control or to prevent them from becoming problematic in the first place.

As was mentioned earlier, there is a substantial focus on controlling blood pressure.  Among the components of this diet meant to help to achieve that purpose is sodium control. Depending on your starting point and your goals, this means that you’ll want to choose one of two different tracks in this diet.

The Two DASH Diet Tracks

The two types of this diet are:

  • The Standard DASH Diet – When following this version, you can have up to 2,300 milligrams of sodium each day. This is the upper recommended limit for adults as per the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
  • The Lower Sodium DASH Diet – This is a much further restricted version in which you can have no more than 1,500 milligrams of sodium per day. This is the upper limit recommended by the American Heart Association.

Both forms will usually mean that the dieter is cutting back rather substantially on previous typical sodium intakes.  That said, one is clearly more dramatic than the other. Keeping in mind that the average American consumes 3,400 milligrams or more of sodium each day – according to figures shared by the Mayo Clinic – either version of the diet will require the follower to make some rather substantial changes to what they eat or how much of it they are eating.