It’s the 21st century, so we explicitly know the many dangers of high blood pressure. High blood pressure is a major prerequisite to heart diseases, as well as attacks like stroke and kidney failure. Yet, with all this knowledge, the population of people suffering from high blood pressure and the risks that the condition comes with has risen astronomically in the last four decades, and that population accounts for more than a billion people, and that number increases every day.

To combat this terror, scientists have chosen to take advantage of the effectiveness of diets, combining years of accumulated knowledge on the foods that best improve hypertensive conditions. 

This lead to the creation of the DASH diet.

What is the DASH diet?

The DASH diet is an acronym that expands to “Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension.” These dietary formulas were established after an intentional pursuit by scientists and other health-focused organizations to curb the effects and deterioration of hypertensive conditions. Thus, the DASH diet helps in the fight against hypertension and reduces the risk of heart disease developing.

The idea of using diets to combat hypertension was taken aboard when it was discovered that there were fewer cases of high blood pressure among people who favored plant-based foods in their nutrition plans. Thus, more research was made until the DASH diet menu was engineered to include more fruits, vegetables, and lean protein sources. These lean protein sources could be fish, chicken or beans, but there must be very little trace of added sugars, red meat, fat, and sugars.

Also, there was the discovery that salt intake was directly proportional to a worsening hypertensive condition, which is incorporated in the DASH diet. For all these limitations, the DASH diet meal plan brings many benefits to the health of those that utilize it. They include

     Reduced blood Pressure
The DASH diet meal plan is great at relaxing systolic and diastolic pressures (blood pressure during and in between heartbeats) with or without the reduction of salt intake. However, better results can be garnered by taking in less salt alongside whatever is on the DASH diet menu. Since salt intake increases blood pressure.
It is important to note, though, that the risk of having a heart disease doesn’t always reduce with a decrease in blood pressure.

     Weight Loss
There’s an unfortunate correlation between weight and high blood pressure. Thus, medical practitioners always advise that people with higher blood pressure work towards losing some weight. Fortunately, the DASH diet has been reported in various studies to have an impact on weight reduction, especially due to the absence of fats and sugar that result in a lower intake of calories anyway.

     Lowers Risk of Cancer and Diabetes
Studies suggest that people abiding by the DASH diet meal plan stand a lower chance of cancers, heart disease, and stroke. The diet also ensures that metabolic syndrome risks drop by a factor of 8, out of a possible 10.

What do you eat on the DASH diet?

The DASH diet is a list of food groups and the suggested quantities of their intake per day. Of course, the exact amount that will be consumed depends on the calorie-diet the person is on. For example, 1500-3000 calorie diets will use the following servings guide:

     Daily Servings
Servings: 3-6
The DASH diet places a lot of emphasis on eating fruits. This extends from apples and peaches to tropical examples like mangos. Whatever the choice, the person must take at least 600 grams of fruit every day.

Servings: 4-6
There are no restrictions when it comes to vegetables on the DASH diet. It can be a mixture of kale, spinach or broccoli, and carrots, if the person takes at least 80 grams of vegetables on each serving, at least four times a day.

Servings: 6-12
Whole grains are the choice grains for the DASH diet, with whole-grain bread and whole-wheat bread and cereals proving to be the most accessible options. An example of a serving could include a slice of whole-wheat bread, 30 grams of dry whole-wheat cereal and half a cup of cooked rice. 

Low-fat dairy foods
Servings: 2-4
Yogurt, skim milk and other nonfat dairy foods are welcome additions to the DASH diet menu plan. The goal is to reduce fat and sugar intake.

Lean Meat
Less than 2.5
The hardest test for most people is to resist the temptation of red meat. The ideal DASH diet only allows a maximum of two servings of red meat every 8 days. Instead, servings of fish, chicken and other lean meats are moderately favored.

     Weekly Servings 
Nuts, Seeds, and Legumes
Servings: 3-6
Peanuts, sunflower seeds, beans and the other members of their food groups must be limited to weekly consumption of 4-5 servings.

Fats and Sugar
Servings: 2-4
Vegetable oils are preferred to any other oils, whether they be salad dressing, margarine or salad dressing. Also, sugary substances should be reduced to a weekly basis, which should never get over the 5-servings threshold. This means soda, nectar, candy, and table sugars should be far away from the mouth and the digestive system.

Are eggs allowed on the DASH diet?

Yes, eggs receive the same treatment as lean meats, which means one egg makes up a part of the serving of lean meat. That does not mean that eggs should be taken every day, though. But it is a healthy alternative to red meat that can make the transition a lot easier for non-vegans. 2-3 eggs per week should be ideal.

What food can you not eat on a DASH diet?

     Red Meat
Predictably, the ultimate anti-vegan food must be absent from the DASH diet menu, as the DASH diet is structured after plant-based food plans. People encouraged to take on the DASH diet plan are advised to slowly reduce their red meat intake until it reaches the ideal 2-3 servings per week that are recommended

     Too much or too little salt
Reducing salt intake in DASH diet meal plans comes naturally, but that doesn’t mean it should be completely eviscerated from the food plan. there is sufficient proof from academic studies and research that completely removing salt from the diet can lead to improved chances of having heart diseases and lower fluid retention and insulin resistance. 

Thus, people are advised to be moderatein their intake of salt. This connotes to about 1-1.5 teaspoons of salt every day.

Ultimately, the diet that had been voted for by the U.S. News & World Report as the “Best Diet Overall” has been a reliable weapon in the fight against high blood pressure since it came to light. All that is left is the resolve and consistency to utilize and exploit its ripe benefits.