DASH diet aka Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension is used to prevent and control hypertension or high blood pressure.
It sounds a bit overwhelming, but it really is not as scary as it sounds. I’m gonna let you know how you can make those changes slowly but sure!
For starters, here are a few changes you can make to manage your hypertension nutritionally.
- Eat more fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products
- Aim to have not more than 1/3 of meat and processed meat you normally have
- Eat half the typical amounts of fats, oils and salad dressings
- Eat ¼ the number of snacks and sweets
What about sodium and salt? It is recommended to have not more than 2300mg sodium or 6g of salt daily. 1tsp salt=2400mg sodium, so it’s not much really. And it is very easy to go overboard with salt. However, following DASH diet will naturally enable you to consume less sodium and salt as DASH diet is rich in fruits and vegetables. In addition, consuming a diet rich in potassium has been shown to lower blood pressure and blunt the effects of salt on blood pressure in some individuals.
Here are some ways to get started:
- Have a deck of cards size of lean meat instead of processed meat like bacon, ham, and sausages.
- Use herbs and spices instead of salt in cooking or meal preparation.
- Add an extra serving of vegetables or salad with your lunch and/or dinner.
- Have a piece of fruit as a snack instead of biscuits.
- Consider meatless day for 1-2 times a week, like ‘meatless monday’ or ‘veggie friday’.
- Use fresh vegetables instead of canned vegetables as they tend to high in sodium.
- Opt for wholegrain or wholemeal bread and pasta.
- Gradually increase your dairy intake by having diet yoghurt for a snack or as a dessert 🙂
- Consume more potassium-rich fruits and vegetables ie. leafy green vegetables, fruits (orange, banana) and root vegetables (sweet potato).
So what do you think? It doesn’t seem too bad, does it?
Remember to start things slowly, change gradually to ensure a constant and sustainable result.
Any question or comment is most welcomed! 🙂