A Complete Guide On Getting Started With DASH Diet For Beginners

By ReshapeAugust 11th 2021

Research states that Global hypertension disparities are widespread and increasing day by day. Every other person is facing this major issue worldwide, leading to premature death. Several medications and therapeutic procedures are on their way to lower the high blood pressure and hypertension ratio in people. But why always the medications? Can’t it be prevented? 

Yes, there’s a way!

Representing the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet. This phenomenal heart-healthy diet has been effective as an alternative to drug therapy in hypertensives and can prevent hypertension.

You may have heard about this diet on digital media platforms. However, in this article, you will learn everything about the DASH diet for beginners and its therapeutic health benefits. Following are the points that you’ll learn below.

  • What Is A DASH Diet?
  • How To Get Started On A DASH Diet Meal Plan?
  • What Foods Are Allowed In A DASH Diet Meal?
  • What Foods Are Excluded From A DASH Diet Meal?
  • How Does DASH Benefit Hypertension? 
  • What Research Says?
  • Other Health Benefits Of The DASH DIET?
  • Is A DASH Diet Good For Weight Loss?
  • How Long Does It Take For The DASH Diet To Work?


What Is A DASH Diet?

A Complete Guide On Getting Started With DASH Diet  For Beginners

The DASH diet that stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, was originally introduced in the early 1990s. Its success took off when the National Institute of Health (NIH) funded this eating plan to see whether the results are significant or not. It turns out the DASH diet has remarkable effects on lowering high blood pressure. It is a diet that restricts calories and controls hypertension employing food choices and claims to heal these chronic health issues without mediations. 

This eating plan is loaded with healthy nutritional foods low in sodium and rich in iron, potassium, calcium, and magnesium. All these nutrients play their part in lowering your blood pressure as well as in weight loss.

How To Get Started On A DASH Diet Meal Plan?

Following or getting started on DASH diet meal plans isn’t that hard. Beginners need to consult their doctor or nutritionist first to monitor their blood pressure, sugar levels, weight, and other mandatory assessments to ensure the DASH eating plan provides healthy lifestyle outcomes for them. Then plan your grocery list and leave for shopping for the main calories restricted ingredients. After that, plan your per day DASH diet meal for breakfast, lunch, dinner, as well as snacks and make a list. Several online easy-to-follow DASH diet recipes websites and videos are available to guide you to follow your calories restricted meal plans(breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks). At last, get started on your way to an optimal blood pressure diet which will also let you lose weight. 

What Foods Are Allowed In A DASH Diet Meal?

The DASH meal platters in breakfast, lunch, and dinner are loaded with colorful vegetables and fruits low in sodium and high in fiber. Here’s a list of things that are advised to eat in a DASH diet.

A Complete Guide On Getting Started With DASH Diet  For Beginners
  • High fiber whole grains products such as low calories whole wheat, wheat bread, quinoa, brown rice, oatmeal, freekeh as well as whole wheat pasta
  • High fiber fruits such as berries, apples, dates, grapes, oranges, bananas, and pears
  • Low sodium and high fiber vegetables such as potatoes, broccoli, carrots, green peas, and spinach
  • Fat-free or low-fat dairies such as low-fat yogurt, eggs, fat-free skim milk, and low-fat cheese
  • Low calories lean protein that contains high fiber such as lean meats, fish, and low-fat lean poultry.
  • Healthy fats such as avocado, olive oil, nuts, and seeds such as walnuts and sunflower seeds
  • Low sodium legumes such as kidney beans, split peas, and lentils.


Other snacks such as,

  • Unsalted pretzels
  • Popcorn
  • Peanut butter
  • Sweets with low calories 

Try making new recipes from some youtube recipes videos or recipes ebooks, so you don’t get bored.


What Foods Are Excluded From A DASH Diet Meal?

There are just a few things that are excluded from a DASH diet’s dinner, lunch, breakfast, as well as snacks. The restricted food items are:

  • Full sugary food items such as table sugar, candy, cookies, chips, pastries, etc
  • Sugary beverages like sodas
  • High sodium foods such as high sodium snacks, table salt, fast food, high calories prepackaged food, and salted nuts, processed meats
  • Red meat such as beef, pork, lamb, and veal
  • Saturated fat such as cheese, fatty cuts of meat, poultry with skin, lard, cream, butter, and whole milk
  • High-fat snacks 
  • Full fat yogurts like whole yogurt and processed flavored yogurts
  • Refined grains 

It is important to avoid these; even the smallest things like 1 slice of pizza can take a toll on your health.


How Does DASH Benefit Hypertension? 

Eating foods with too much salt or sodium has a strong and direct association with higher blood pressure. When salt enters your body, your body holds on extra water to wash out that extra amount of salt through your body. This action can put stress on your heart, blood vessels and eventually raise your blood pressure. 

With time, your blood vessels stiffen and narrow, slowing down the blood and oxygen flow reaching your organs. Your heart constantly tries harder to pump more blood throughout your body, leading to hypertension.


What Does Research Say About Hypertension & The DASH Diet?

Multiple research and surveys prove that the DASH diet incorporates abilities to control blood pressure and reduce chronic heart diseases significantly. Seeing this, U.S News World Report has ranked the DASH diet as the number one healthiest diet in America.


Other Science-Backed Up Health Benefits Of The DASH Diet?

Chronic Heart Diseases

A Complete Guide On Getting Started With DASH Diet  For Beginners

The DASH diet is also heart-healthy as it plays a beneficial role in preventing and treating chronic cardiovascular diseases. According to research done in 2014, evidence was found that the DASH diet delivers a significant contribution in preventing CVD beyond the well-known BP-lowering effects.


Research says that the DASH diet has been shown to improve insulin resistance in the human body. So, we can say that the DASH diet is an appropriate diet for people who have diabetes.


Is A DASH Diet Good For Weight Loss?

Initially, the DASH diet wasn’t designed specially for weight loss; however, the DASH diet has shown noteworthy results in losing participants' weight. But there’s a catch! The DASH diet won’t be melting your pounds off quickly. If you are into weight loss, stick to specific calories per day, such as a 1600 calories diet. This will help you lose weight by consuming low calories from whole foods naturally low in unhealthy fats, high sodium, and added sugars.

A study suggests that weight loss has been linked to lower your blood pressure levels. 


A Complete Guide On Getting Started With DASH Diet  For Beginners

How Long Does It Take For The DASH Diet To Work?

Studies have shown that the DASH diet will start showing lower blood pressure (hypertension) in around two weeks. Moreover, it will take about a month to lose weight if you maintain strict diet meals (lunch, breakfast, dinner) with low calories, healthy recipes, and unprocessed snacks.

The Final Takeaway!

The DASH diet is easy to follow and therapeutically one of the best diets for treating hypertension. Moreover, it can also benefit weight loss. Before starting, consult your doctor, set your calories limit if you want to lose weight, shop, search DASH diet recipes, make a list of per day DASH diet meals for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. Introduce yourself to a DASH eating plan loaded with low-fat dairy, fruits, whole grains, whole wheat, olive oil, fresh fruit juices, and lean protein.


DISCLAIMER: The content of this article is for informational purposes only, and although Reshape.Me strives to keep the information up to date and correct, it does not replace the advice of a healthcare practitioner. Be sure to consult a licensed medical professional if you require personalized support that may affect your health. Any reliance on this information is therefore strictly at your own risk.

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