What is the DASH Diet?

Harriette Halepis

The DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) Diet was developed in order to help people lower high blood pressure by observing a carefully calculated diet. The DASH Diet is low in sodium, and it contains controlled portions of nutrient-packed foods. This diet also takes into consideration the size, weight, and age of each dieter.

The DASH diet may help lower blood pressure.
The DASH diet may help lower blood pressure.

By observing a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, dieters who have followed the DASH Diet have been able to reduce blood pressure levels. Essentially, the DASH Diet encourages people to add an extra helping of fruits and vegetables to each meal, while cutting out any added salts or sugars. In addition, the founders of this diet suggest that people use low-fat condiments, such as low-fat mayonnaise, in lieu of full-fat items.

Reading nutrition labels is especially important for those on the DASH diet.
Reading nutrition labels is especially important for those on the DASH diet.

One of the distinguishing factors between the DASH Diet and other diets is that this diet encourages people to reduce meat consumption. It is often recommended that dieters following this diet adapt to a largely vegetarian lifestyle. While meat can be consumed in small amounts, this consumption is limited to no more than six ounces (170 grams) of meat each day.

Many medical professionals approve of the DASH Diet, since this diet not only promotes better eating habits, but also teaches consumers to read labels and understand ingredient details. By learning to decipher complex food labels, dieters are frequently able to recognize foods that are high in salt -- even when a product claims to be low in salt.

Even though the DASH Diet has many beneficial aspects, reducing additives, such as salt, should be done slowly and carefully. Thus, it is recommended that anyone beginning the DASH Diet speak with a medical professional prior to beginning the program. Still, this diet proves to be highly effective for many different people, and it is one diet that most medical experts approve of.

To begin the DASH Diet, speak with your medical doctor. Then, take a few moments to review the types of foods that can be consumed while following this diet. Also, spend some time reading the many pieces of literature that are part of this diet, and learn how to read packaged food labels accurately. As a result of this diet, many dieters experience drastically lowered blood pressure levels. Across the globe, medical professionals prescribe this diet to those people who need a lifestyle change, since this particular diet is easy to follow, comprehensive, and nutritious.

THe DASH diet limits salt consumption.
THe DASH diet limits salt consumption.

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