Dash diet

DASH Diet: Hypertension Eating Plan

Hypertension or high blood pressure has been on the rise in the US for the past 50 years. DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. First introduced in 1997, it is a diet promoted by the National Institute of Health’s National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) for reducing blood pressure. Various organizations have ranked it as one of the “Best Overall Diets.” The DASH diet is a well-balanced, lifelong approach to healthy eating that was discovered in research funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to determine the role of dietary eating patterns on blood pressure.

Hypertension
Photo by KatarzynaBialasiewicz from Pexel

MANAGEMENT OF HYPERTENSION :

Initial management of hypertension uses a two-pronged approach, with emphasis on Pharmacotherapy and Non-pharmacotherapy. Non – pharmacological therapy (Lifestyle modifications) has an important role in both non-hypertensive & hypertensive individuals. Lifestyle modifications have the potential to prevent hypertension as well as to reduce BP and lower the risk of BP-related complications.

The following non-pharmacotherapeutic interventions:

NUTRITION :

The following Dietary changes are of paramount importance: Reduction of salt intake to an average of not more than 5 g per day (WHO, 2012), moderate fat intake, following the DASH diet plan (Dietary approaches to stop hypertension), the avoidance of a high alcohol intake, and restriction of energy intake appropriate to body needs.

What is the DASH Diet?

The DASH diet, or Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, was developed through research funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. It is effective in lowering blood pressure and blood lipid levels, which ultimately reduces the risk for cardiovascular disease.

This diet plan emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, low-fat dairy, and seeds, nuts, and legumes. It also recommends limiting sugary beverages, sweets, sodium, and red meats. The DASH diet is rich in magnesium, potassium, and calcium, which are protective against high blood pressure. DASH diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, and fat-free or low-fat dairy foods, whole grains, fish, poultry, beans, seeds, and nuts. It also contains less salt and sodium, sweets, added sugars, and sugar-containing beverages, fats, and red meats. This diet helps to lower blood pressure and also has suitable effects on blood lipids.

Dash Diet
Photo by Aamulya from Pexel

Origin of DASH Diet

The DASH diet originated out of clinical studies by the National Institute of Health. These studies were designed to test which diets are best suited to reducing hypertension. The National Institute of Health examined three different diets in the clinical studies and then examined their results. The DASH diet is not necessarily a “diet” rather it is a way of eating that will promote long-term health. The USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture) recommends the DASH diet as “an ideal eating plan for all Americans.”

Dash Diet
Photo by Ella Olssom from Pexel

The characteristics of the DASH diet:

Lower sodium intake

The DASH diet provides guidelines for your sodium and caloric intake. The standard DASH diet allows up to a maximum of 2300 mg of sodium per day and the low-sodium version of the DASH diet allows up to 1500 mg of sodium per day. The average American diet contains up to 3500 mg of sodium per day.

Increased vitamins and minerals

All your essential vitamins and minerals are provided on the DASH diet by the many fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and other whole foods that you are encouraged to eat on the diet. The diet also includes an ample supply of minerals like magnesium and potassium that help to lower or improve your blood pressure.

Increased good fats

Consuming a lot of good fats and minimizing bad fats is highly encouraged on the DASH diet. Saturated and Trans fats should be replaced with lean meats, omega-3’s from fish and seafood, low-fat dairy, nuts, and seeds. Good fats help to optimize our overall health by lowering bad cholesterol and increasing good cholesterol.

Increased fiber consumption

The DASH diet recommends increasing your fiber consumption by eating several servings of fruits, vegetables, and grains every day. This keeps you feeling full and helps to reduce blood pressure. High fiber consumption also helps to maintain good blood sugar levels and it also encourages weight loss.

Reduction of alcohol and caffeine

The DASH diet suggests limiting your intake of alcohol, soda, tea, and coffee because they offer no nutritional value, typically contain a lot of sugar and they can elevate blood pressure. This is an important lifestyle modification for reducing blood pressure. Alcohol raises blood pressure and also can harm vital organs like the liver, brain, and heart. For persons who consume alcohol, the recommendations are, that men should have no more than two alcoholic drinks per day and women no more than one drink per day as supported by the AHA 2006 scientific statement of hypertension management.

Customized sodium and caloric intake

In the same way that you can choose a 2300 mg/day or 1500 mg/day sodium intake DASH diet, you can also choose the most suitable caloric intake level for you

Dash diet

Photo by fcafotodigital from Pexel

Benefits of the DASH Diet

The DASH eating plan is effective for the prevention and management of hypertension. Hypertension is a clinical term for high blood pressure. Approximately 1 in 3 American adults have hypertension. This “silent killer,” which often lacks overt symptoms, can increase the risk for heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, and blindness.

Hypertension, a chronic disease, is treated with prescription medications. However, diet and lifestyle changes can significantly reduce blood pressure. Research shows that in some individuals, the DASH eating plan may reduce blood pressure as much or more than prescribed drugs. The DASH eating plan, in combination with a sodium-restricted diet (1500mg/day), can produce even greater results in lowering blood pressure.

The DASH diet is supportive of digestive health and decreases the risk of the development of colorectal cancer. This may be due to an increased level of fiber or higher consumption of dairy.

The DASH eating pattern support kidney health. Studies have shown that a DASH diet decreases the risk for urinary albumin excretion and protects against rapid decreases in glomerular filtration, both of which are indicators of decreasing kidney function. It is also protective against the development of kidney stones.

dash diet
Photo by Pixtural from Pexel

Researches on DASH DIET

Over the years several studies have proven that the DASH diet is not only effective for lowering blood pressure through diet but it is also effective in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, several types of cancers, stroke, heart disease, kidney stones, kidney disease, diabetes, heart failure, and many other diseases. The DASH diet has also been shown to promote weight loss and improve overall health.

Research has found that diet affects the development of high blood pressure, or hypertension (the medical term). Recently, two studies showed that following a particular eating plan—called the DASH diet—and reducing the amount of sodium consumed lowers blood pressure. While each step alone lowers blood pressure, the combination of the eating plan and a reduced sodium intake gives the biggest benefit and may help to prevent the development of high blood pressure.

The DASH diet research findings, which tells about high blood pressure, and how to follow the DASH diet and reduce the number of sodium consumptions. The menus and recipes are  for two levels of daily sodium consumption —2,400 milligrams (the upper limit of current recommendations by the Federal Government’s National High Blood. Pressure Education Program, or NHBPEP, and the amount used to figure food labels’ Nutrition Facts Daily Value) and 1,500 milligrams.

NUTRITIONAL RECOMMENDATION FOR DASH DIET

Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) is an eating plan that originally lowers blood pressure but also is “heart-healthy” and lowers the risk of heart attack and stroke. This eating plan is for 1,800 calories per day. The DASH plan is high in fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and protein that are low in saturated fat and cholesterol. The plan also focuses on lowering salt intake to less than 2,300 milligrams (mg) per day. Even lower salt intake (1,500 mg per day) can lower blood pressure even more. Eating nutritious foods will help to control blood pressure. The DASH diet emphasizes fruits and vegetables, low-fat milk products, and whole grains. It is a Mediterranean diet full of nutrients that are good for your heart and good for your health.

DASH Diet means eating a variety of foods and food groups that research has shown can be beneficial to heart health while avoiding others, that are harmful.

Key components include the following:

  1. Fruits and vegetables
  2. Whole grains
  3. Nuts, seeds, and legumes
  4. Lean protein—fish and poultry are emphasized, while red and processed meat consumption is limited
  5. Low-fat or fat-free dairy
  6. Avoidance of sugar-sweetened beverages
  7. Low sodium—when kept under 2,300 mg daily the diet is even more helpful with blood pressure, which can drop even lower with less than 1,500 mg daily sodium intake
  8. Higher levels of dietary nutrients like potassium, magnesium, calcium, and fiber
  9. Lower levels of saturated fats, trans fats, and cholesterol
  10. Increased the fiber intake slowly, so that people can avoid becoming gassy or bloated.
  11. Keep food allergies and intolerances (e.g., lactose intolerance) in mind as you tailor this diet to individual needs.
  12. For example, most DASH diet guides don’t cover avocados. Some foods are may not be the best choice for their category. For example, pretzels are grains but don’t have a lot of fiber or nutrients.

DOES THE DASH DIET WORK?

The DASH diet has shown several benefits. It lowers blood pressure (systolic and diastolic) for people with hypertension, and also for people who have blood pressures in the normal range, whether or not they lower their sodium intake. Reductions in pressures occur within one week and keep dropping if sodium restriction is ongoing.

Photo by fcafodigital from Pexel

The DASH diet reduces the risk of sudden cardiac death on the order of approximately a 13% decrease in 10-year Framingham CVD risk. It is helpful with weight loss, it lowers hsCRP levels relative to usual diets (comparably to other healthy diets), and it also offers therapeutic benefit for a wide range of other clinical conditions, including the following:

  • Abnormal lipids
  • Cerebrovascular disease
  • Heart failure
  • Colon and rectal cancer chemoprevention
  • Insulin resistance and diabetes
  • Urolithiasis (kidney stones)
  • Gout
  • Kidney disease

OTHER LIFESTYLE CHANGES 

Photo by fcafotodigital from Pexel

WEIGHT REDUCTION:

The prevention and correction of overweight/obesity is a prudent way of reducing the risk of hypertension and indirectly coronary heart disease. The greater the weight loss, the greater the reduction in blood pressure. Meal patterns that rely heavily on processed foods containing more fats, sugar, and sodium, lead to steady weight gain and high BP.

QUIT SMOKING :

Smoking is a major risk factor leading to HTN and heart disease. Nicotine and Carbon monoxide present in smoke damages heart & blood vessels. Smoking also increases blood viscosity, clot formation and speeds up the process of hardening of the arteries. In patients with coronary heart disease, smoking cessation is associated with a 36% reduction in the risk of all-cause mortality.

PHYSICAL ACTIVITY :

The role of physical activity in the treatment of hypertension is well known. Regular physical activity enhances the sense of well-being, improves functional health status, & reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and mortality.

EXERCISE:

Researches showed that exercise incorporated lifestyle intervention can result in significantly better BP control among patients taking Pharmacotherapy for Hypertension. 30-45 minutes of moderate level activity on most days of the week can lose/maintain weight & helps to lower Blood pressure.

YOGA/ MEDITATION :

Yoga is a beneficial multifunctional therapeutic modality in the treatment of a variety of psychological and medical conditions such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, and COPD. Meditation helps to calm the body and soul and relaxation techniques such as massaging relieve stress. It might be that a reduction in stress and stimulation of the body might impart physiological benefits, says the American Heart Association.

CONCLUSION :

In conclusion, Hypertension is a major risk factor and a powerful predictor of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. The main thrust of primary prevention of hypertension includes a sustained effort on lifestyle modifications. Established nutrition recommendations are proven to help reduce blood pressure in general populations. Thus, decrease the load of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular, cerebrovascular, and renal which are associated with hypertension. It encourages you to take a diet rich in potassium, calcium, and magnesium and reduce your intake of sodium in your diet.

DASH diet is rich in vegetables, whole grains, fruits, fish, meat, poultry, nuts, beans, and low-fat dairy products. The diet helps you to reduce your systolic blood pressure by 8 mmHg and diastolic blood pressure by 3 mmHg, which could make a lot of difference in reducing morbidity and mortality in hypertensive patients. DASH diet also prevents osteoporosis, cancer, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes as it has a high quotient of antioxidant-rich food.

Share the article

Lotus Stem Curry

Print

LOTUS STEM CURRY


Description

These luscious Lotus sets are a great source of dietary fibre, phytonutrients and other source of vitamins and minerals. It helps reduce stress, water retention and is great for skin, hair and those who have hypertension. They can be boiled, air fried, added into salads or even eaten raw. Try out this lotus stem curry and surprise your friends and family with this delicious treat.


Scale

Ingredients

1 medium size Lotus Stem – cut into small rounds

1 Green Chilly, finely chopped

½ Tsp Cumin

Masalas:

Salt, to taste

1/4 TspTurmeric

½ Tsp Red Chili powder.

1 tspDhania Powder.

¼ tsp garam masala

 


Instructions

  • Thoroughly clean the Lotus Stems by scrubbing off all visible traces of mud off them. Run water through the holes till they are clean.
  • Peel, wash once again and cut into medium sized rounds.
  • In a pressure cooker add the chopped Lotus stem with enough water to cover them, add salt and pressure cook till half cooked (2-3 whistles should be good) When done, keep aside, with the water.
  • Heat a heavy bottomed Kadhai and add Oil to it.
  • When the Oil heats up add the Jeera and wait for it to pop.
  • Add the chopped Green Chilies and sauté till they don’t seem raw anymore.
  • Fry well, till the masalas are cooked and Oil starts leaving the mixture.
  • Add this cooked mix to the semi cooked Lotus Stem in the cooker. Add water if required.
  • Pressure cook till done (2-3 whistles).
  • Serve hot with Rice or chapattis.


Nutrition

  • Calories: 100 - 110 KCAL
  • Fat: 3 - 6 GM
  • Carbohydrates: 14 – 18 GM
  • Protein: 4-6 GM

Share the article

Hara Bhara Kebab

Print

Hara Bhara Kebab


Description

Hara bhara kebabs are vegetarian kebabs made using fresh ingredients. It is a quick energy boosting snack which can can also serve as a starter, or side dish or even part of a light dinner option.


Scale

Ingredients

¼ bunch spinach leaves

1/2 tsp oil

12 green chili, finely chopped

¼ capsicum, finely chopped

¼ cup beans, chopped

1 tbsp. peas, fresh / frozen

½ potato, boiled and grated

1 tbsp. paneer / cottage cheese, crumbled

1 tbsp coriander leaves, finely chopped

¼ tbsp corn flour

½ tbsp breadcrumbs

½ tsp red chili powder

½ tsp coriander powder

¼ tsp amchur

¼ tsp garam masala powder

salt to taste

½ cup breadcrumbs, to coat

2 cashews, halved

oil for greasing


Instructions

  1. Firstly, in a large kadhai heat oil and add green chili, also add capsicum and sauté till the moisture disappears. Further add beans and peas. sauté well.
  2. Transfer to the blender and allow to cool completely. Blend to coarse paste along with blanched spinach. Transfer the blended paste into a large mixing bowl.
  3. Also add grated potato, paneer and coriander leaves. Further add corn flour and breadcrumbs. Add in the spices and salt. Mix well.
  4. Grease hands with oil and make a small patty. Cover the patties with bread crumbs and garnish with cashew.
  5. Now AIR FRY the prepared patties (stirring occasionally).
  6. Finally, serve hara bara kabab with coriander chutney.


Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 2
  • Calories: 130 – 140 KCAL
  • Fat: 10 – 12 GM
  • Carbohydrates: 15 – 20 GM
  • Protein: 6 – 8 GM

Share the article

Besan kadhi with boiled rice

Print

Besan kadhi with boiled rice


Description

This kadhi is a popular North Indian dish made with primarily besan (chickpea flour) and curd. Its typically served as a side dish to steamed rice, but can also be served with roti and chapattis.


Scale

Ingredients

1 Cup yogurt

Energy 170 – 180 KCAL
Protein 14 – 18 GM
Fats 10 – 12 GM
CHO 35 – 45 GM

½ cup gram flour

½ tsp turmeric

½ tsp chili powder

to taste salt

¼ tsp garam masala

2 cups water

1 tbsp. oil

A pinch Asafoetida

1 tsp roasted cumin seeds

12 Whole dry red chilies

For tempering:

1 tsp cooking oil

¼ tsp chili powder

For the pakoras:

12 tbsp. gram flour

Salt – to taste

Oil – for frying


Instructions

Method:

1) Mix gram flour, turmeric, chili powder, salt and garam masala.

2) Add yogurt gradually to this mixture to form a smooth paste, and then add the water.

3) Heat oil in a large, heavy-based pan; add the Asafoetida, cumin seeds and the whole red chilies.

4) When the cumin seeds begin to splutter, add flour and yogurt mixture and bring to a boil.

5) Simmer over a low heat till it thickens a bit.

Prepare the pakoras:

1) Mix the ingredients listed above into a smooth batter with enough water to form a thick dropping consistency. Let the batter rest for at least 15 minutes.

2) In a frying pan, heat cooking oil for frying.

3) Beat the pakora mixture till light and fluffy and add teaspoons full of the mixture.

4) Reduce heat to medium and fry the pakoras.

5) When the pakoras fluff up, and the base becomes golden-brown, turn them over and brown on the other side.

6) Scoop out the pakoras from the oil and drop them into a kadhai. Repeat this procedure with the rest of the mixture.

7) Transfer the hot kadhai into a serving dish.

8) Heat oil, add the chili powder and pour over the kadhai immediately to garnish.



Nutrition

  • Calories: 170 - 180 Kcal
  • Fat: 10 - 12 gm
  • Carbohydrates: 35 - 45 gm
  • Protein: 14 - 18 gm

Share the article

Saturated Fats : Good or Bad?

When it comes to healthy eating, everyone wants to emphasize fat – it’s a confusing & polarizing topic. Here are some thoughts about most commonly asked questions about fat, particularly saturated fat. What actually saturated fat is? – that they have no double bonds; raises the level of cholesterol in your blood; and are typically solid at room temperature. Some common sources are fatty beef, lamb, pork, poultry with skin, beef fat (tallow), lard and cream, butter, cheese and other dairy products made from whole or reduced-fat (2 percent) milk, many baked goods and fried foods, Some plant-based oils, such as palm oil, palm kernel oil and coconut oil.

Much of the interest in fats are studies which concluded that saturated fat is not associated with heart-disease, then it must be healthy. But the answer is ‘NO’. Then reducing saturated fat alone without considering what it is replaced with may not be beneficial.

So, it is clever to do ‘proportional changes in energy’ when it comes to fat and health. Such as, replacing it with unsaturated fat improves cardio-vascular health and reduces risk of heart disease. And in contrary, replacing it with refined carbohydrates does not at all reduce CVD risk factors. The combined evidence suggests that improving the whole eating pattern will promote cardiovascular health. The American Heart Association recommends 5% to 6% of calories from saturated fat; for example, if you need about 2,000 calories a day, no more than 120 of them should come from saturated fat. 

 

Share the article






How to stick to your new year resolutions : A Food & Wellness Guide

Every year, enthusiasts around the world take their diaries and scribble a list of to-dos with the hope of making radical changes happen. Unfortunately, most resolutions fade before the new year decorations are down. We worked up some failsafe ways to help to stick with it this year:

Set realistic targets: When making a resolution, try not to override practicality with your ambition. You know yourself the best. Set targets that you are most likely to at least try and achieve. For example, trying to be a size 2 in one year when you’ve been a size 10 all your life is a far-flung idea. However, a target of losing 20 kilos in a year, especially if you are admittedly a big foodie, is realistic enough.

Make your goals specific and measurable: “I have to get thin this year” is vague. “I will lose at least 20 kilos this year” is specifically stated and therefore clearly envisioned. When you have a clear vision of where you wish to go, it is easier to carve the footsteps that will lead you to your destination.

Break your resolution into mini goals: One big goal can be too overwhelming and can set in a low morale. Break it down into smaller, achievable assignments that don’t put too much pressure on you all at a time. So, if losing 20 kilos is your big goal, spread it thin with smaller tasks like going to the gym thrice every week for a year, eating a light dinner every day, etc.

Make your goals time-specific: No goal is measurable or specific enough if not accompanied with a timeline. So if you still don’t see yourself losing 2 kilos and it’s already November that year, this is where you’ve gone wrong. Losing 20 kilos in a year will be better executed if you stick to losing 2 kilos every month.

Track your progress periodically: Once you’ve set measurable goals within a time frame, get to work, but also look back regularly to see how far you’ve come. Tracking your progress ensures that you know it when you’ve failed a particular assignment (refer to point # 2) and lets you get to the reason of it and therefore helps you avoid further goof ups.

Focus on the path more than the goal: Constantly looking at your big goal can be more depressing than motivating, because it looks like a lot to achieve. Once you’ve made yourself an effective plan for achieving your target, keep faith in it. And in yourself. Tell yourself that if you do what you need to do everyday, you’re sure to reach your goal by the end of the year, as planned.

If you fail, forgive yourself and move on: You knew right from the beginning this wasn’t easy. Therefore slip-ups are bound to occur. Get rid of the notion that you are going to get it right at the first attempt. Acknowledge and accommodate for failures. But remember to always get up and get going. This is the most important of all the clauses.

Get help: Making a change happen and sticking with it for one full year is challenging. You do not have to make it more difficult by doing it alone. Being teased for ordering salads when everyone else is gorging on burgers is a bigger torture than passing on the burger. Share your plans with family and friends so that they can be supportive and encouraging when they want to. And if you’re clueless as to why, in spite of all your efforts, you’ve reached a standstill on your weight loss journey, opt for expert help. A professionally planned diet plan and exercise chart is likely to get you speedier results.

New year resolutions aren’t, after all, much different from what we face in our everyday life, whether or not we commit ourselves to one this year. It all comes down to trying as best as you can. After all, you never fail until you stop trying, said Albert Einstein.

Share the article






Hello there
Get health tips, recipes and front seats to our free health talks and online events delivered to your inbox. Subscribe to our newsletter!
Hello there
Get health tips, recipes and front seats to our free health talks and online events delivered to your inbox. Subscribe to our newsletter!
Get more of the goodness delivered to your inbox. No Spam - No Ads
Subscribe
Stay Updated Would you like to receive notifications on latest health posts & recipes? No Yes