Health benefits from the DASH Diet
The DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) Diet is an eating plan designed to help you reduce high blood pressure through dietary change. It does this by encouraging you to eat healthier food and to reduce the salt in your diet.
The overall goal of the DASH Diet is to reduce (or even completely eliminate) your blood pressure medications so that you can live a more normal, natural lifestyle.
While the primary focus of the DASH Diet is to lower your blood pressure, it can also provide many other health benefits (which have not yet been proven medically). These include:
Weight loss: Substantial weight loss is possible on the DASH Diet, especially as it includes options with different caloric intakes. Since you can limit calories while also restricting the amounts of processed and fast foods in favor of healthier fresh foods, all things being equal you should see some weight loss on this program.
Heart disease: The healthier food types used in the DASH Diet will have an amazing effect on your heart’s health. In addition, by limiting your salt intake and thereby lowering your blood pressure, you give your heart the break it needs to repair any damage and also not work so hard, so it can stay strong and last longer.
Osteoporosis: The DASH Diet recommends that you include three servings of dairy products in your diet each day. Dairy products such as milk or cheese are full of the calcium you need to keep your bones strong, as well as slow or even prevent the development of osteoporosis (brittle bones).
Cancer: The DASH Diet may help to reduce the risk of developing cancer. By eliminating foods that are bad for you from your diet and replacing them with healthier options, this improved nutrition and more natural diet will keep your body strong and may help keep cancer away.
Stroke: Eating healthier foods, as well as limiting the amounts of salt you consume, are great ways to reduce your risk of suffering a stroke.
Diabetes: The DASH Diet requires you to not only reduce the salt in your diet, but also the sugars and carbohydrates. This combination can help you to achieve a more balanced diet and work to prevent the development of diabetes. If you do have diabetes (especially type 2 diabetes), a balanced diet such as the DASH variety will help you manage the disease.
Blood pressure: While the main point of the DASH Diet is to lower and stabilize your blood pressure, people with normal blood pressure can also benefit by minimizing the risk of high blood pressure.
This post is an excerpt from the cookbook Make Me Salt-lite… in 30 Minutes!, which is available below!