Five Things You Need to Know About the DASH Diet

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Are you curious about the DASH Diet and if it is right for you? Below are five things you need to know about the DASH Diet to help you decide.

The DASH Diet was named the 2nd best diet by US News and World Report for 2019.

Every year, the US News and World Report ranks diets, and the DASH Diet is consistently ranked in the top spots, along with the Mediterranean Diet. In 2019, the DASH Diet was only surpassed by the Mediterranean Diet, and the DASH Diet had held the top spot for the previous eight years! The DASH Diet also ranked in the top three spots for “Best Diets for Healthy Eating,” “Best Diets for Diabetes,” and “Best Heart Healthy Diets.” The DASH Diet ranks so high because it is nutritionally complete and safe to follow, and has additional benefits including supporting heart health and preventing and controlling diabetes, And, while the DASH Diet is not technically a weight-loss diet, many who follow a calorie-restricted DASH Diet find they do lose weight.

The DASH Diet is a heart-healthy diet.

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The DASH Diet (or Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertention) was originally created to help people lower their blood pressure and studies have shown that it does just that. In fact, doctors often recommend that their patients follow the DASH Diet to control high blood pressure. As well as controlling hypertension, studies have also shown that the DASH Diet increases good HDL cholesterol and lowers bad LDL cholesterol and triglycerides which can help to lower the risk of heart disease. Foods which are known to control high blood pressure and support heart health, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein, are emphasized on the diet. For women, the DASH Diet has been associated with a 20% reduced risk of heart disease and a 29% lower risk of stroke.

The DASH Diet is easy to follow.

The DASH Diet allows all foods and can be adapted to suit most dietary preferences, including gluten-free, moderate-carb, kosher, halal, low salt, and vegan/vegetarian diets. No food group is off-limits, so you can choose from a wide variety of food, including sweets in small amounts, which can help to reduce cravings. In addition, the DASH Diet is a very safe diet to follow as there are no potential health risks identified in following the diet.

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The DASH Diet may help to prevent or control diabetes.

The DASH Diet ranked #2 in best diabetes diets because it follows nutritional guidelines recommended for diabetics. Combining the DASH Diet with calorie restriction can help with weight loss and help to control metabolic syndrome. The DASH Diet has also been shown to help control blood sugar levels.

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The DASH Diet limits salt intake.

For those who love their salt, this may be the most difficult aspect of the DASH Diet. Limiting salt intake can be important for controlling high blood pressure, which was the original purpose of the DASH Diet. The DASH Diet limits salt intake to 3/4 teaspoon daily. Some studies have found that reducing salt intake to the level recommended in the DASH Diet is not necessary; however, most people can benefit from reducing their salt intake from processed foods. Many find that once their palates adjust to a lower salt intake, they enjoy the varying flavors of food, especially when enhanced with other herbs and seasonings.

Key Takeaways:

  • The DASH Diet is a nutritionally complete, safe, and well-researched diet

  • The DASH Diet is proven to reduce high blood pressure and support heart health

  • The DASH Diet can prevent and control diabetes

  • The DASH Diet is easy to follow and adaptable to many different ways of eating

  • The DASH Diet is a low-salt diet