The name DASH diet is an acronym. It stands for Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension. While you can’t always avoid medication, you can certainly improve the odds that you won’t need it to control blood pressure with a combination of healthy diet and regular exercise. Exercise increases the heart’s efficiency and also increases nitric oxide that causes vessels to widen so blood flow is increased. Exercise also helps you attain a healthy weight and avoid serious conditions, like diabetes.
Diet plays a huge role in overall health and blood pressure.
The DASH diet increases food that has more magnesium, potassium and calcium, but is lower in sodium. Compared to other healthy diets, it’s been shown to lower the systolic blood pressure, the top number, by a significant amount—-up to 14 points. While it’s good for your blood pressure, it’s also healthy no matter what your fitness level. It includes whole grains, low fat milk, poultry, fish, beans, nuts fruit and vegetables. The DASH diet also has food lower in sodium, less red meat and less food and drink with added sugar. Trans fats and saturated fats are also reduced.
Weight loss might be one of the side effects of the DASH diet.
Unlike medications, when you use exercise and diet to control blood pressure, the only side effects are ones that are good. For instance, weight loss can occur when you do both, which is helpful if you want to lower your blood pressure. The dash diet is not extremely strict, so it’s easy to follow. The amount of vegetables you can eat is unlimited, but five servings is a recommended minimum. You’re allowed cereals or whole grains, daily fruit, fats, fish, lean meat, poultry or eggs a day. You can have 4 or 5 servings of nuts, legumes and seeds each week and up to 5 servings of sweets each week.
The DASH diet makes you more aware of what you’re eating.
It does more than that, it encourages eating more vegetables. While low salt intake is the accepted norm for those with high blood pressure, newer studies show that a diet high in added sugar also raises blood pressure. Just eliminating sugary soft drinks or processed meats can be a great start and go a long way to lowering blood pressure. In fact, results from the DASH diet have occurred in as little as two weeks.
- While the DASH diet was created to reduce blood pressure. It’s a healthy diet that could be used by anyone, regardless of their blood pressure levels.
- One study placed 43 obese children who had high blood pressure on a diet with little added sugar and within just 9 days, blood pressure, sugar levels and bad cholesterol levels all dropped significantly.
- A healthy diet is a good start to lowering blood pressure, but to make a significant difference, you need to combine it with a program of exercise. Our personal trainers can help you with both.
- Before you undergo any exercise program or change in diet, always check with your health care professional. Never quit any medication unless the doctor tells you, even if you feel you no longer need it.
For more information, contact us today at BioFit Performance