The DASH diet has been on the list of the world’s best diets for a number of years. Doctors say that it’s one of the most effective diets when it comes to strengthening health. In fact, according to the doctors of the National Institutes of Health, the DASH diet scores 3.3 points out of 5 in the “Weight Loss Effectiveness” category and 4.5 out of 5 in the “Health Usefulness” category.
What is the DASH Diet?
DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) is a diet that was originally developed specifically for blood pressure reduction when a person is experiencing hypertension. However, scientists later found out that this diet resolves many other important issues: cholesterol level reduction, weight normalization, and stroke and heart failure prevention. What’s more is that this is the best diet to help prevent diabetes.
What’s the Concept of the DASH Diet?
All of the vital components (calcium, proteins, vegetable fiber) that are needed for the functioning of the brain and internal organs, as well as hair and skin health, are balanced in this diet.
It’s also very convenient because you don’t have to calculate and monitor each component – you just needed to eat certain recommended products (fruit, grain products, protein-containing foods, dairy products, and vegetables) and reduce your intake of salt.
The main feature of the DASH diet in comparison with other diets is that it was developed for those who have had to take care of their diet throughout their lives. This diet ensures that you can afford various and tasty dishes. You just keep in mind the following basic rules:
• Drink two liters of fluid a day.
• Eat five times per day. One serving should not weigh more than 215g.
• Your daily calorie intake should be around 2,000-2,500 kcal.
• Eat no more than five sweets per week.
• Try to consume more cereals, beans, seeds, lean meat, and vegetables.
• Avoid drinking alcohol or soda.
• Avoid smoking
• Consume no more than eight snacks per day.
• Reduce your salt intake and consume only 2-3 teaspoons a day.
• Add whole wheat bread to your diet.
• Exclude smoked or fatty foods, pickles, canned fish, pastry, and meat from your diet.
What You Can Eat
Your daily diet may contain the following products:
• Cereals – No less than seven servings per day (one serving = two slices of bread, ½ cup of cooked pasta, ½ cup porridge).
• Fruit – No more than five servings per day (one serving = 1 fruit, ¼ cup of dried fruit, ½ cup of juice).
• Vegetables – Five servings per day (one serving = ½ cup of boiled vegetables).
• Non-fat Dairy Products – Two to three servings per day (one serving = 50g of cheese or 0.15 liters of milk).
• Seeds, nuts, beans – Five servings a week (one serving = 40g).
• Animal and vegetable fats – Three servings per day (one serving = 1 teaspoon of olive or linseed oil).
• Sweet dishes – No more than five times a week (one serving = one teaspoon of jam or honey).
• Fluids – Two liters per day (water, juice, green tea).
• Protein – 0.2 kilograms of lean meat, fish, or eggs.
What to Avoid
You should avoid the following products:• Alcohol
• Fast foods and chips
• Smoked and canned foods
• Fatty meat
How to Plan Your Diet
You can create your own menu by taking into consideration the diet’s rules and the products that you’re allowed to eat.
You don’t need to do anything special to create your diet: you just need to include necessary products and exclude the “bad” ones gradually. If your ultimate aim is to lose weight, cut out the amount of recommended servings.
This diet provides the necessary amount of microelements and vitamins to your body and there are no time frames for you to follow. You can lose weight smoothly and without experiencing hunger or a sudden fluctuation in weight. This means your body won’t be stressed.