The DASH Diet Plan Alexandria, VA
The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension diet—known colloquially as the DASH diet—is a healthy eating plan developed using research sponsored by the U.S. National Institutes of Health to treat hypertension (high blood pressure) without medication. At the heart of the diet is the inclusion of foods and nutrients that naturally reduce blood pressure, and efforts to minimize foods that are known to increase blood pressure. Fruits,vegetables and low-fat or non-fat dairy are the mainstay of the diet. Alcohol and sugar consumption are greatly reduced, while lean proteins, nuts, seed, legumes and healthy fats are encouraged.
Adhering to the DASH diet plan can help to improve your overall health by lowering your blood pressure and helping you to lose weight. To schedule a consultation with a weight loss specialist in Alexandria that specializes in nutritional counseling and healthy eating plans, call (703) 822-5003 or contact Proactive Wellness Center online.
What are the Specific Food Recommendations of the DASH Diet?
Unlike many popular diet plans which require you to purchase their own line of branded foods in order to successfully adhere to the diet plan, the DASH diet focuses on eating fresh, appropriately proportioned foods that you can find in any grocery store.
The original DASH diet research was not specifically designed for weight loss—though weight loss did occur—but it was higher in grains and starches than modern weight-loss wisdom would recommend. More recent DASH diet research studies have suggested taking away some of the empty carbs in the original DASH diet and adding in lean proteins and healthy fats like avocados, nuts and seeds to optimize weight loss and lower blood pressure even further.
Presently, there are two main DASH diet eating plans: the standard DASH diet and the lower-sodium DASH diet. Both versions can be further modified for weight loss or to accommodate a vegetarian lifestyle. In the standard DASH diet, no more than 2,300 mg of sodium a day is recommended, and in the lower-sodium DASH diet, only 1500 mg is recommended. Both versions of the DASH diet recommend choosing foods that are:
- Low in saturated fats and trans fats
- High in potassium, calcium, magnesium, fiber and protein
- Comprised of whole grains rather than refined grains
- Unprocessed with no artificial ingredients
DASH Diet Servings
The amount of calories you consume per day will be based on your unique goals that you set with your healthcare provider. Based on a 2,000 calorie a day diet, a DASH diet plan will incorporate the following daily servings.
|Low-fat or non-fat dairy||2-3|
|Lean meats: particularly fish & poultry||2 or less|
|Nuts, seeds and legumes||4-5 per week|
|Fats and sweets||Limited|
DASH Diet Food List
Your DASH diet shopping list should include the following foods that will make up your DASH diet menu eating plan:
- Vegetables: Root vegetables like carrots and turnips; cruciferous veggies like Brussel sprouts, cabbage, broccoli and kale; green leafy vegetables like collard greens, turnip greens and spinach; and vegetables rich in soluble fiber like okra. Opt for fresh or frozen without added flavorings, sugar, salt or sauces.
- Dairy products: Ideally, look for grass-fed and organic choices when choosing milk products. Fermented dairy like cheese, yogurt, kefir and sour cream are also especially good choices.
- Grains: Look for whole grain products that offer low-sodium options. You may also benefit from choosing sprouted grain products. Gluten-sensitive individuals can opt for alternate gluten-free grain choices like buckwheat, sorghum, amaranth, quinoa and millet.
- Fruits: Aim for low-glucose fruits like berries (blueberries, strawberries, raspberries) and fruits high in soluble fiber like kiwi. Fruits like green papaya and pineapple offer a wealth of enzymes for digestion.
- Nuts and seeds: For optimal health, choose unsalted, raw, sprouted varieties. Walnuts, Brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds and pumpkin seeds are all healthy options.
- Beans and lentils: Chickpeas, kidney beans, white navy beans and lentils are all healthy choices, especially when sprouted to neutralize lectins and phytates.
- Lean red meats, poultry and seafood: When shopping for fish, go for wild-caught, especially salmon for optimal omega-3 fatty acids. Skinless chicken and turkey is always a healthy choice. When shopping for red meats, look at tenderloin, round and sirloin beef cuts and extra-lean ground meat. Limit high-sodium deli meats and other processed or canned meats.
- Condiments: Flavored vinegars, spices, herbs, healthy oils are all good choices for flavoring your food with less salt. When purchasing prepared dressings and sauces, opt for low-sodium versions.
The DASH Diet Results
Research suggests the DASH diet can have as much of an impact on hypertension as first-line high blood pressure medications. It can also achieve weight loss and prevent or treat high blood pressure. The DASH diet has also been shown helpful in preventing other diseases like heart disease, kidney disease, diabetes, stroke and even some kinds of cancer.
If you've been suffering from high blood pressure, the DASH diet can be a safe and effective way to treat your condition. You may need to discuss modifications to the diet with your healthcare provider, especially if you are gluten-sensitive or wish to optimize weight loss. Request more information about the DASH diet high blood pressure and weight loss plan today. Call (703) 822-5003 or contact Proactive Wellness Center online.
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