DASH diet for weight loss, Blood pressure
The DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) is a balanced diet that reduces or controls high blood pressure. Losing weight with the DASH diet includes a meal plan with plenty of vegetables, fruits, low-fat dairy products, whole grains, fish, poultry, nuts, and minimal amounts of red meat.
What foods are you allowed to eat on the DASH diet?
The DASH diet recommends specific serving sizes for different food groups. The number of servings you can eat depends on your calorie intake. Below is a sample of meals based on the 2000-calorie diet.
- Whole grains: 6–8 servings per day
- Vegetables: 4-5 servings a day
- Fruits: 4-5 servings a day
- Dairy products: 2–3 servings a day
- Lean chicken, meat, and fish: 6 servings per day or less.
- Nuts, seeds, and legumes: 4-5 servings per week
- Fat and oil: 2-4 servings a day
- Candy and added sugars: 5 servings or less per week.
Benefits of losing weight with the DASH diet
The DASH diet does more than just lower blood pressure. For example, it can also lower the risk of cancer. However, this diet does not help much with weight loss and is designed to control and reduce blood pressure.
So, if you want to lose weight, it is better to choose another diet. The positive effects of this diet include the following:
1. Reduces blood pressure
Normal blood pressure in adults is 12 Blood pressure of 14 or above is considered high blood pressure. The DASH diet reduces blood pressure in both groups of healthy people and people with high blood pressure.
In studies, people who follow the DASH diet, even if they don’t lose weight and limit salt, have reduced blood pressure.
2. Help with weight loss
Some studies show that people can lose weight with this diet. But those who want to lose weight should reduce more of their daily calories by following this diet.
It means that with the same amount of calories as set in the DASH diet, there is a slight chance that you will lose weight. Of course, considering that the DASH diet limits the consumption of many high-fat and sweet foods, it may help to lose weight.
To lose weight with the DASH diet, you should still consider a low-calorie diet supplement.
Is the DASH diet helpful for everyone?
Studies done on this diet showed that people whose salt intake was the lowest had the most significant drops in blood pressure. Still, the benefits of salt restriction on health and longevity are unclear.
For people with high blood pressure, reducing salt intake significantly affects blood pressure. However, the effects of reducing salt intake are much less pronounced in people with normal blood pressure.
The DASH diet is not particularly beneficial for your body if you do not have high blood pressure.
Limiting too much salt is not good.
Eating less salt has been linked to health problems such as the increased risk of heart disease, insulin resistance, and fluid retention. This diet recommends that people not consume more than 3 or 4 teaspoons (1500 mg) of salt per day.
However, it is unclear whether this salt reduction amount is still beneficial. A recent study found no association between salt intake and the risk of death from heart disease.
However, since most people eat a lot of salt, reducing your salt intake from a very high 2 to 2.5 teaspoons (10 to 12 grams) per day to 1 to 1.25 teaspoons (5 to 6 grams) per day may be helpful during the day.
Eating more whole foods and less highly processed food will make it simple to achieve this goal.
Disadvantages of losing weight with the DASH diet
1. Difficulty adhering to it
Those who follow a regular diet may find it difficult to follow the DASH diet. The program says that you should cut your salt intake to between 2,300 and 1,500 milligrams per day.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that the average person takes in 3,400 milligrams of sodium every day. Most people get their salt from highly processed foods limited to this diet. Even if you don’t eat processed foods, it’s hard to break the salt shaker habit.
For these reasons, following the DASH diet can be challenging. A study on the adherence rate of this diet showed that people have difficulty joining this program and continuing it for a long time, and they need a guide and a consultant.
Trying a diet that is not so difficult to follow that you get tired of it quickly is better.
The researchers also looked at fat intake in this diet. Consuming more fat in the diet helps people follow the plan better. In one study, participants followed a version of the diet that was higher in fat.
They didn’t eat low-fat or fat-free dairy products. Instead, they ate high-fat dairy products and cut down on sugar by drinking less fruit juice.
The researchers found that a higher-fat version of the DASH diet lowered blood pressure just as much as a low-fat diet without raising bad cholesterol.
2. Not supporting
A popular feature of some other diet programs is the presence of support. Supporters help you avoid problems on the way to losing weight.
You can ask the support staff to guide you if you have any questions. These features help people quickly get through the bumps and rigors of dieting when motivation wanes.
It allows them to ask questions and learn new tips and tricks. If you are thinking of losing weight with the DASH diet, you should know that you are not alone in this journey.
There is no support organization for this diet. If you are still thinking about losing weight with this diet, it is better to choose a nutritionist who is familiar with the DASH diet and its rules and can play a full supporting role for you.
3. tracking food
There is no calorie counting in the DASH diet, but you should always be aware of the food units. You are allowed to consume a certain amount of food per day or per week, and you are not allowed to drink more.
To properly follow this diet, you must measure the portions of foods that fall into different categories and count their number.
This process can be as tedious as counting calories or more, especially when you don’t have support to help and guide you. Of course, the process becomes easier with practice. But at first, this part of the program may be overwhelming for some people.
4. Without a unique plan for weight loss,
As mentioned, the DASH diet is not suitable for weight loss. The diet does not have a specific plan for weight loss and focuses more on health and blood pressure control.
As a result, if you have high blood pressure and your weight is high, we recommend you follow a diet to reduce your weight and blood pressure.
5. Not recommended for everyone
Researchers and people who support this diet say that people with chronic kidney disease, chronic liver disease, or who are taking renin-angiotensin-aldosterone antagonists shouldn’t choose it.
Also, if patients with chronic heart failure, uncontrolled type II diabetes, lactose intolerance, and celiac disease intend to follow this diet, they should change their diet.
By reading this article, you will know everything about the DASH diet. As mentioned, losing weight with the DASH diet is not an easy task. Because the purpose of the DASH diet is not to help you lose weight, you must use a complementary food plan if you want to lose weight.
If you are overweight and suffer from high blood pressure, we recommend you forget the DASH diet and think about a healthy diet.