What is the DASH diet for Hypertension?

If you are a hypertension patient at risk of a possible cardiovascular condition, it is time to consider the DASH diet seriously. Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet enables one to lower high blood pressure, cholesterol, and other fats. This, in turn, reduces the risk of heart attack, stroke or other hypertensive conditions and helps lose weight. It is essential to lose at least 1500 mg of sodium to bring down blood pressure. The DASH diet can lower sodium in the diet by 2300mg a day. Let us have a look at what the DASH diet generally includes:

  • A well-planned diet with plenty of vegetables, fat-free or low-fat dairy
  • Whole grains, nuts, beans, seeds and vegetable oils
  • Lean meat, poultry and fish
  • Cut back on salt, red meat, sweets and sugary drinks
  • Limit alcoholic beverages

The routine also involves 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days of the week. Activities range from brisk walking to riding a bike, leading to 2 hours and 30 minutes of exercise per week.

Another vital thing to note is that food should be low in sodium or salt, cholesterol and saturated fats. At the same time, the diet should be high in potassium, calcium, magnesium, and fibre.

Tips for maintaining low sodium levels

  • Avoid salt at all costs – Take the salt shaker off the table if you have to. Instead, use alternatives like lemon, lime, vinegar or other flavours.
  • Canned and frozen food must be avoided at all costs as they’re high in salts.
  • Check all food labels for sodium levels.
  • If you feel like snacking, eat unsalted pretzels, nuts, raisins, low-fat, fat-free or frozen yoghurt or unsalted, plain popcorn with no butter and raw vegetables.

The best nutritionists usually advise the following when it comes to the number of calories and number of servings to be taken each day-

  • Vegetables: 4 to 5 servings a day
  • Fruits: 4 to 5 servings a day
  • Low-fat or fat-free dairy products, such as milk or yoghurt: 2 to 3 servings a day
  • Grains: 6 to 8 servings a day,
  • Whole grains: 3 servings
  • Fish, lean meats, and poultry: 2 servings or less a day
  • Beans, seeds, and nuts: 4 to 5 servings a week
  • Fats and oils: 2 to 3 servings a day
  • Sweets or added sugars, such as jelly, hard candy, maple syrup, sorbet, and sugar – fewer than 5 servings a week

If you or someone you know has hypertension or cardiovascular conditions, consult the best nutritionist online at SeekMed. Click on the dietitian near me to book an online medical consultation with award-winning super-specialists. The medical professionals will also help you confirm the diagnosis and explore affordable treatment options, lab services and health packages.