How to follow the Dash Diet? Which foods are NOT permitted in it?

Dash Diet is a customized diet to reduce high blood pressure, abbreviated as ‘Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension’. The diet involves use of food ingredients that are well known to lower blood pressure. Hence, they work against Hypertension. Let’s understand the meaning of ‘Dash Diet’ and go through the foods that are not permitted in it.

Definition of the Dash Diet

High blood pressure is a chronic disease many people are facing across the world. It is rising high due to raised stress levels and hormonal disorders. Moreover, it can further lead to many ailments like heart attack, stroke or kidney diseases. Many people are advised to follow a customized diet plan to maintain their blood pressure. Foods part of these diets are low in salt and lower your blood pressure. 

The diet was created by researchers who identified that plant-based foods help well to lower blood pressure. The diet emphasizes on fruit, vegetables, whole grains and lean meat intake. 

In addition to lowering blood pressure, the diet has even other benefits.  

  • Aids in weight loss
  • Reduces cancer risk
  • Reduces diabetes risk and insulin resistance

Studies have shown, that Dash diet can lower blood pressure in about two weeks time. It also helps reduce levels of LDL (Low Density Lipoprotein) cholesterol in blood. This in turn reduces risk factors of heart diseases. As high blood pressure and LDL are two major causes of heart diseases and stroke.

Foods NOT to Eat in a Dash Diet

High Sodium Foods

High-sodium foods contain more salt. Salt has the elements sodium and chloride. It is one of the main ingredients that raises blood pressure. So reducing high-sodium foods helps lower salt intake and in-turn control hypertension. Substitutes for salt are:

  1. Low salt.
  2. Table salt.

Red Meat

Red Meat have saturated fats and raises cholesterol. This in turn leads to vessel blockage and raises blood pressure. It is better to consume Fish and Chicken instead of Red Meat when following the Dash Diet.

Added Sugar

Some studies show that sugar may increase blood pressure. So, in dash diet, we should avoid adding extra sugar to tea or coffee. High sugar intake has more calories and fewer nutritional benefits. Therefore, it is better to use substitutes to sugar. For example,

  1. Table sugar
  2. Candarel
  3. Brown sugar
  4. Sweets

Saturated Foods

Dash Diet recommends reduced usage of saturated fats. As they may lead to heart diseases. Hence, foods rich in saturated fats should be avoided. For example,

  1. Cheese
  2. Fatty meat
  3. Whole milk
  4. Cream
  5. Butter
  6. Chicken’s Skin

Many staple meals of most cuisines constitute the ingredients listed above. That should be avoided in Dash Diet. So, when following the Dash Diet, you might wonder, What foods to eat? Lets look at some meals and ingredients that are permitted and encouraged to be consumed when on a Dash Diet. 

Foods allowed to Eat in Dash Diet

  • Whole Grains: brown bread, whole wheat bread, brown rice, cereal, oatmeal, and quinoa. 
  • Fruits: apples, peaches, berries, pears, and tropical fruits.
  • Dairy Products: skimmed ow low-fat milk, cheese, and yoghurt.
  • Lean Chicken, meat and fish: well cooked meat, chicken, fish, red meats only occasionally, eggs  without yolk. 
  • Unsaturated fats and Oils: vegetable(corn or sunflower) oil, low-fat mayonnaise. 
  • Candy and low sugar sweets: jams, honey, chocolate, jelly, better than added sugars. 

Struggling with high-blood pressure? Hope the customized diet explained above helps maintain your blood pressure.