The DASH diet is the best diet according to the US News and World Report ( 1 DASH means dietary approaches to stop hypertension and is the result of research sponsored by the U.S. National Institutes of Health to create a diet that can lower blood pressure without medication.
This diet can also help you lose weight, fight some types of cancer, reduce the effect of diabetes, lower LDL cholesterol, protect against heart disease and stroke, and prevent kidney stones from forming ( 2 ).
Therefore, if you need to lose weight or suffer from any lifestyle-related illness, you should follow the DASH diet to cleanse your system and lead a healthy life. Here’s all you need to know about this highly successful diet.
- 1 DASH Diet How does it work?
- 2 Dash menu diet
- 3 Foods allowed in the dash diet
- 4 Foods prohibited in the dash diet
- 5 Is the DASH diet safe?
- 6 Who should follow the DASH diet?
- 7 Benefits of the dash diet
- 8 Side effects of the dash diet / disadvantages of the diet
- 9 Dash Diet Tips
- 10 Cautions
DASH Diet How does it work?
The DASH diet is simple: it allows dieters to eat natural foods such as vegetables, fruits, nuts, lean proteins, low-fat dairy products, poultry, fish, meat and beans… The goal of this diet is to reduce the consumption of salty or high-sodium foods, which is the main cause of increased blood pressure, obesity and other diseases.
Americans consume approximately 3400 mg of sodium per day, and the standard DASH diet allows you to consume 1500-2300 mg of sodium per day. This product meets the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (2010) ( 3). In addition, you will consume limited sugary beverages and sweets. This is crucial if you are trying to lose weight because the sugar is eventually stored in the form of fat if you do not use it as an energy source.
Therefore, this combination of healthy foods, no processed or junk foods, low sodium and low sugar foods, and a healthy lifestyle is the working formula for this diet… Now that you have a fair understanding of the basic principle of how this diet works, here are some points to consider.
Dash Diet Guidelines for Weight Loss
- If you want to lose weight, you must spend more energy than you consume as a food.
- If you want to maintain your current weight, you must consume as much food as you do energy.
- Check your activity levels to see if you are sedentary (light activity), moderately active (light physical activity and walking 1-3 miles at a medium pace) or active (walking 3 miles or more per day for 3-4 hours in daylight).
- Meet your recommended caloric intake.
- Include the required amount of food in your daily diet.
- Avoid sugary, processed, high-sodium foods.
- Exercise regularly to create a negative energy balance in your body.
- Check your weight and body fat percentage every two weeks.
Here is a sample diet chart for weight loss. You can modify this diet plan according to your calorie needs per day.
|Breakfast||1 slice wheat bread with 2 tablespoons peanut butter + 1 egg + 1 cup freshly squeezed juice (no sugar) or vegetable quinoa + ½ cup low fat milk + 2 almonds.|
|Mid-morning||1 banana or 1 cup freshly squeezed juice.|
|Food||1 medium bowl of vegetables with lean protein salad with light dressing and sunflower seeds or 1 medium bowl of green leafy vegetables and mushrooms.|
|Snack||1 cup green tea + 15 pistachios in shell or 1 cup green tea + 1 small cup baby carrots.|
|Dinner||Grilled/baked fish + 1 glass of low-fat milk or 1 plate of vegetable stew with vegetables + 1 rye bread + 1 yoghurt.|
DASH Diet Women’s calorie needs per day
|OF AGE||CALORIES /
DAY FOR SEDENTARY WOMEN
DAY FOR MODERATELY ACTIVE WOMEN
DAY FOR ACTIVE WOMEN
|50 and over||1600||1800||2000-2200|
DASH Diet Men’s calorie needs per day
DAY FOR SEDENTARY MEN
DAY FOR MODERATELY ACTIVE MEN
DAY FOR ACTIVE MEN
|50 and over||2000||2200-2400||2400-2800|
Depending on your recommended calorie intake, the following tables will give you a clear idea of how much of each food group you should eat per day.
Foods allowed in the dash diet
- Vegetables - Spinach, broccoli, Chinese cabbage, Chinese cabbage, lettuce, asparagus, radish leaves, kale, spinach, pumpkin, cauliflower, pumpkin, pumpkin, pumpkin, pumpkin, pumpkin, green onion, ginger, garlic, carrot, beet, parsnips, cabbage, okra, eggplant, tomato, peas, etc.
- Fruits: apple, watermelon, grapefruit, lemon, orange, tangerine, pineapple, mango, plum, pear, pluot, banana, grapes, cherry, strawberry, blueberry, raspberry and blackberry.
walnuts and seeds: pistachios in shell, nuts, almonds, macadamia nuts, flaxseed, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, etc.
- Grains: brown rice, oatmeal, whole wheat, whole grain pasta, multigrain bread and whole wheat bread.
- Protein: chicken breast, lean cuts of pork and beef, mushrooms, mackerel, salmon, tuna, carp, tilapia, tofu, lentils, beans, peas and chickpeas.
- Dairy products: skim milk, yogurt, cheese and whey.
- Fats and Oils – Olive oil, rice bran oil, flaxseed oil, flaxseed butter, sunflower butter, ghee, peanut butter, low fat mayonnaise and sunflower oil.
- Drinks: water, freshly pressed fruit and vegetable juices and coconut water.
- Herbs and spices: Cumin powder, coriander powder, garlic powder, rosemary, thyme, dill, fenugreek seed, bay leaves, cardamom, cloves, star anise, mace, nutmeg, cumin seed and cinnamon.
Foods prohibited in the dash diet
- French fries
- Salted nuts
- Unlimited alcohol
- Packaged fruit and vegetable juices
- Energizing drinks
- Canned foods
- white bread
- Packaged soups
- Meat cold cuts
- Processed meat such as sausages, salami, etc.
- Ready-to-eat food
- Pre-packaged pasta
- Tomato sauce and sauces
- High fat salad dressing
It is clear that you should avoid eating foods that are not good for your body altogether. This also means that you have to cook your meals to follow the DASH diet correctly and get results.