Many Americans are tired of constantly being told that every medical diagnosis that they receive requires yet another prescription drug. Many doctors and health practitioners are working to improve their patients’ overall health through changes in their lifestyles and diets.
In fact, patients with high blood pressure are often directed to adopt the DASH diet as a way to improve their health without relying on drugs and medications. DASH stands for a Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension and is growing in popularity due to its effectiveness and simplicity. Reducing salt, added fat, and sugars can make a significant change for the better.
The ABCs of the DASH Diet
When doctors and medical researchers took notice of the fact that vegetarians and vegans enjoy lower rates of hypertension and high blood pressure, they decided to encourage their patients with this condition to adopt a similar diet.
While you won’t need to give up meat completely unless you want to, the DASH diet encourages you to increase the amount of fruits and vegetables that you have in your diet. Protein sources such as beans, fish, and poultry help you meet your nutritional needs while helping to decrease your blood pressure, lower cholesterol, and improve your overall health. You will also need to decrease your intake of salt and sodium-laden foods as well as added sugars.
By eliminating processed foods from your diet, you will significantly reduce your sodium levels. The parameters call for limiting your salt intake between 1,500 grams to 2,300 mg per day. Fat must also be avoided when on the DASH diet.
Fresh Fruits and Veggies are the Foundation of Delicious Meals!
By reducing your meat, sugar, added fat, and salt intake you will enjoy lower blood pressure and you may even lose some weight in the process! One of the easiest ways to successfully make DASH part of your routine is to plan ahead.
Planning out your weekly meals and shopping on a regular basis makes the process easier. Incorporating cooking into your family’s routine will make it easier for everyone to eat healthier without feeling like you’re making a lot of sacrifices. When you begin with fresh fruit and vegetables as the foundation for your meals, you can expect colorful meals that are full of flavor.
Start with a few simple recipes that you can easily add to your weekly rotation and build from there. The goal is to adjust your eating habits not to temporarily restrict yourself.
Embrace the Simplicity of Batch Cooking
The quality of weekday lunches and dinners often suffers due to hectic schedules and the ease of ordering yet another junk-food-laden take-out meal.
If you hope to reduce your diastolic blood pressure by as much as 5 mmHg and also lower your systolic pressure by 12 mmHg as an average, making the DASH diet a seamless part of your daily routine is the best way to achieve success. We love batch cooking and make Sundays all about shopping, prepping, and preparing enough meals for healthy eating all week long. When you have your veggies and proteins prepped, it is much easier to stick with your plan and keep your salt intake where it needs to be.
Once you have found several recipes that work well for you, you can expand your repertoire to include further meals that utilize many of the same ingredients.
Adopting the DASH diet can be an effective way to lower your blood pressure and improve your overall health without having to rely on prescription drugs.
It’s time to get cooking!