Originally designed to combat the effects of the average American’s unhealthy diet in the early 1990’s, the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet has changed and developed with population trends to stay on top of healthy diets lists for lifestyle, lowering blood pressure and diabetes health for years.
DASH Diet is ranked #2 overall in best diets for its comprehensive nutritional profile and ability to control diabetes. (1)
The DASH Diet Dinner: Salmon and roasted broccoli
While it was not specifically targeting weight loss, over the years it has evolved and changed, focussing on different areas. There have been a number of changes to the program, including that the program now targets not only the high blood pressure issues, but also obesity. One of the more recent diet options available is the DASH diet for weight loss.
The DASH diet is designed to use real food that is readily available to the general public. It encompasses a lifestyle change to the average American diet, adding a lot of lean poultry and fish, fruit and vegetables, legumes and low fat dairy, and cutting back on sugar, processed foods and red meat. The Diet calls for four to five servings each of fresh fruit and vegetables per day, which is twice the generally recommended amount for healthy living.
The DASH diet food list also features many of the high antioxidant foods. These are thought by some to be beneficial in combating diseases such as cancer, heart disease and other chronic illnesses. They include the large amounts of fruit and vegetables, making a particular point that they be fresh and as unprocessed as possible.
Daily Nutrient Goals Used in the DASH Studies (for a 2,000-Calorie Eating Plan)
Nuts and Apricot Trail Mix are great for snacks
The diet has been not only available, but heavily promoted over the last 13 years by numerous American health organisations as a means to combat long term health issues prevalent in the population. Due to its popularity, there are hundreds of cook books, social media groups and websites dedicated to exploring creative ways of eating within the DASH diet parameters.
The diet is designed to be user friendly and has the potential to be adopted as a lifestyle change as opposed to being treated as a short term health or weight loss fix. Food choices are flexible, participants can adapt their own recipes to fit into the DASH diet parameters, and suit other family members, helping to make it sustainable in the long term.
The DASH diet has the potential to have long lasting and far reaching effects. At an individual level, dieters can lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure, lose weight, and eat a clean diet. Through its long term implementation and uptake, families, communities and potentially national health can be improved dramatically.