The Dash Diet
The Dash Diet is considered to be a back to basics approach. Dash stands for dietary approach to stop hypertension. This diet claims to be a healthy diet with all food groups in the right proportions.
The Dash diet includes a lot of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy foods. It also includes meat, fish, poultry, nuts, and beans. This diet limits sugar-sweetened foods and drinks, red meat, and added fats. This diet is recommended by the USDA and the American Heart Association as of its ideal eating plans.
The dash diet is based on NIH studies that examined three dietary plans and their results. None of the plans were vegetarian, but the dash plan incorporated more fruits and vegetables, low fat or nonfat dairy, beans, nuts than the other plans studied. The dash diet was shown to reduce systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure. These changes in blood pressure occurred with no changes in body weight. This dietary plan is adjusted based on a daily caloric intake that ranges from 1,600 to 3,100 calories.
The dash diet doesn’t list specific foods to eat rather it recommends a dietary pattern that focuses on the number of servings of different food groups. The number of servings you eat depends on how many calories you need to eat to reach your goals. Here are some of the recommendations the dash diet makes.
Whole Grains- 6-8 servings per day
Some examples include whole grain breads, whole grain cereals, brown rice, quinoa, and oatmeal.
Vegetables- 4-5 servings per day
Some examples include broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, green beans, and cabbage.
Fruits- 4-5 servings per day
Some examples include apples, pears, peaches, berries, and tropical fruits.
Dairy Products- 2-3 servings per day
Some examples include skim milk, low-fat cheese, and yogurt
Lean Chicken, Meat, & Fish- 6 or fewer per day
Also recommends not to eat red meat more than twice a week
Nuts, Seeds, & Legumes- 4-5 servings per week
Some examples include almonds, peanuts, hazelnuts, walnuts, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, kidney beans, lentils, and split peas.
Fats & Oils- 2-3 servings per day
Some examples include vegetables oils, margarines, oils (canola, corn, olive, or safflower), and low-fat mayonnaise.
Candy & Added Sugars- 5 or fewer servings per week)
Added sugars are kept at a minimum, limit your intake of candy, soda, and table sugar.
While this diet does show benefits of lowering blood pressure in those with hypertension, the serving recommendations are means for scepticism. In addition to some of the specific examples listed.