Benefits of the DASH Diet

When it comes to staying healthy, any Denver heart doctor will tell you that diet and exercise are key necessities. If you experience high blood pressure and hypertension, you may have heard of the DASH Diet. The DASH Diet stands for Dietary Approached to Stop Hypertension and has been ranked as the best diet many years in a row. It is considered, among experts that include our team of cardiologist, as among the healthiest diets in that it is proven to  actually work when comes to improving overall health.

The DASH diet has been found to lower:

  • Blood pressure
  • Cholesterol
  • Risk of several types of cancer
  • Risk of heart disease
  • Risk of stroke
  • Risk of developing diabetes

What is the DASH Diet?

The DASH diet was specifically developed to lower blood pressure without medication. The research into the diet was sponsored by the US National Institutes of Health. Initial research in to the diet did find that it could, indeed, reduce blood pressure as well as first line blood pressure medication. As a result, it is considered a natural way to lower blood pressure without medication. With subsequent research, the DASH Diet was found to reduce other diseases such as cancer and diabetes, which is why it has achieved the #1 diet ranking in US News & World Report six years in a row starting in 2011.

The diet is rich in fruits and vegetables, low fat or nonfat dairy. It also includes whole grains, lean meats, fish and poultry, nuts and beans. Below are some specifics on what the diet includes:

Type of food Number of servings for 1600 – 3100 Calorie diets Servings on a 2000 Calorie diet
Grains and grain products
(include at least 3 whole grain foods each day)
6 – 12 7 – 8
Fruits 4 – 6 4 – 5
Vegetables 4 – 6 4 – 5
Low fat or non fat dairy foods 2 – 4 2 – 3
Lean meats, fish, poultry 1.5 – 2.5 2 or less
Nuts, seeds, and legumes 3 – 6 per week 4 – 5 per week
Fats and sweets 2 – 4 limited

 

The diet is a lifelong approach to healthy eating. And, when following a specific DASH Diet eating plan you will not feel hungry, even if you are dieting as a means to shed pounds as it encourage healthy snacks between meals. Many books are available that contain great recipes and a variety of eating plans. In fact, our own Cooking Cardiologist, Dr. Richard Collins, has a great DASH Diet recipe for a Warm Orange Walnut Quinoa Salad .

 

How to Use This Information

If you have high blood pressure and hypertension you will want to change your dietary habits and the DASH Diet could be a great way to do so. If you need heart healthy cooking inspiration, we encourage you to attend our cooking demonstrations with our Cooking Cardiologist. You can sign up, and see other classes available to you, on our calendar of events  or call us at (303) 744-1065.