Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet is rich in fruits and vegetables and low in sodium and hence, helps to stop hypertension. Individuals who follow this diet along with exercise have increased chances of lowering their blood pressure and cardiovascular risk factors.
Although DASH diet is predominantly for reduced blood pressure levels, it is recently being used for its weight loss advantages as well as for the fact that, the diet plan is high in fiber, low in saturated fats and sugars. The entire family can pursue this diet as it reduces the risk of stroke, heart disease and kidney stones too. A brief glimpse of the DASH diet and the advantages of a healthy lifestyle are discussed below.
Are you Eating Colorful Produce?
Potassium which plays an effective role in lowering blood pressure levels is present abundantly in fruits and vegetables. Low levels of potassium are related to high hypertension levels. A diet rich in natural plant foods which are low in fat and high in fiber can provide adequate potassium levels to reduce hypertension and support weight loss.
Choose Low-Fat Dairy Foods
Eat low-fat or fat-free dairy as an increase in weight can lead to hypertension. While dairy foods are a great source of calcium (needed for strong bones and blood pressure regulation), high-fat dairy contains saturated fats that are not good for heart health. Eating foods high in saturated fats can lead to weight gain, excess calories and increased risk of heart disease.
Unsalted nuts are packed with monounsaturated fats that help to lower bad cholesterol (LDL) and increase good cholesterol (HDL). Nuts are beneficial in various ways right from reducing damage to blood vessels to keeping them healthy for unrestricted blood flow. Different nuts serve different purposes and each of its advantages are available in the website www.firsteatright.com.
Decrease Saturated Fat Intakes
DASH diet which is low in saturated fats, sodium and total fat helps to decrease the risk of heart disease and hypertension. A low-fat diet with a healthy body weight decreases the risk of high blood pressure, diabetes and heart complications.
Along with a DASH diet please include:
Weight management: A healthy body weight is ideal for good health. Overweight/obese individuals, especially those with excess abdominal fat, are more prone to diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure levels. A BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 is healthy and if you are out of these ranges, it is better to seek the help of a registered dietitian nutritionist to help you with a suitable weight management plan according to your BMI.
Physical Activity: Overall fitness along with a healthy heart is required to climb a simple set of stairs without a huff and a puff. Regular aerobic exercise, for 60 minutes daily or at least 150 minutes every week, is needed to reduce blood pressure levels.
Restricted Alcohol Intake: Men should limit alcohol intake to two or less drinks per day and women should drink not more than one drink per day. Such limitations help to manage proper weight and reduce blood pressure.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.