DASH or the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, as the name suggests, is a diet plan that was originally formulated to control high blood pressure. However, the low sodium diet plan not only benefits people suffering from hypertension. It is beneficial for people regardless of age and health condition.
Depending upon your overall calorie requirement, the DASH diet plan recommends eating 4 to 8 servings of grains, 3 to 8 servings of fruits and vegetables, 2 to 3 servings of low fat or fat free milk and dairy products and 3 to 6 servings of lean meat or fish. The maximum permissible limit of sodium in the DASH diet is 2300 mg per day, although people suffering from hypertension are recommended to limit their daily salt consumption to 1500 mg.
Here Are 5 Top Health Benefits Of The DASH Diet
Lowers High Blood Pressure
The main benefit of the DASH diet is maintaining the blood pressure level in the normal range. The lower the sodium content in the diet, the greater is the benefit of the diet in blood pressure management.
Reduces High Cholesterol Level
Studies have shown that the DASH diet not only helps in lowering high blood pressure, it also helps in reducing the LDL or the bad cholesterol level in the blood. The cholesterol lowering effect of the diet is attributed to the healthy food choices. Increasing intake of fruits and vegetables provides fibers that bind with the unhealthy cholesterol and eliminates them from the body, thereby bringing down the cholesterol level in the blood naturally.
Reduces Water Retention
Too much sodium intake increases water retention in the body tissues. DASH diet helps in restoring the normal sodium and potassium balance in the body, which helps in eliminating the excess fluid from the body. Hence, the DASH diet helps in providing relief from edema.
Good For Cardiovascular System
The blood pressure and cholesterol lowering activities of the DASH diet helps in improving the function of the cardiovascular system. The diet helps in reducing the risk of atherosclerosis, heart attack and stroke.
Helps With Weight Loss
The DASH diet also helps in weight loss. By limiting salt intake, the diet plan helps in reducing consumption of the salt rich fried and junk foods. Unlike the fad diets, the DASH diet is a balanced diet plan that encourages healthy eating habit. Hence, it does not entail any adverse side effect.