The DASH Diet is a healthy eating plan focused on lowering your blood pressure. DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, and the diet is designed to treat or prevent high blood pressure (hypertension). The great thing about this eating plan is that it’s not only for people with high blood pressure, it’s a well-rounded healthy diet that can help anyone who wants to live a healthier lifestyle and lose weight. The DASH diet consists of eating healthy whole foods, low-fat dairy and lean meats, and reducing your intake of processed foods, red meat and sodium. Sound like your type of eating plan? Read on to find about more about the DASH diet for weight loss!
What is the DASH Diet?
As mentioned above, the DASH diet was designed to lower blood pressure without medication, reducing your intake of sodium and filling your body with foods rich in nutrients such as potassium, calcium and magnesium. It’s a top diet for heart health and weight loss that involves manageable changes to your diet rather than full blown restrictions involved in fad diets.
There are two DASH diet types depending on your health needs. The Standard DASH Diet limits sodium consumption to 2,300 mg per day, and the Lower-Sodium DASH Diet limits sodium consumption to 1,500 mg per day. The daily DASH eating plan also recommends 6 to 8 servings of whole grains, 6 or fewer servings of meat, poultry or fish, 4 to 5 servings of fruits, 4 to 5 servings of veggies, 2 to 3 servings of low-fat or fat-free dairy and 2 to 3 servings of fats or oils.
With the DASH diet, you’ll be avoiding high-calorie, sugary, fatty foods that can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke, and increasing your micronutrient intake due to all the fruits and vegetables.
Is the DASH Diet Good for Weight Loss?
The DASH diet was designed for those who want to lower their blood pressure, but it also works exceptionally well for anyone who wants to lead a healthy lifestyle and, in turn, lose weight. The eating plan focuses on whole foods, such as fruits and veggies, fat-free or low-fat dairy, whole grains, and lean meats including fish and poultry. It eliminates processed foods like sugary drinks and packaged snacks, limits red meat and reduces sodium intake, which are all helpful for significant weight loss.
20 Foods to Eat and Avoid on the DASH Diet
Foods to Eat on the DASH Diet
1. Lean protein such as skinless chicken and fish
2. Whole grains such as oatmeal, brown rice, quinoa, and whole wheat bread and pasta
3. Fruits including bananas, apples, dates, grapes, oranges, peaches and strawberries
4. Vegetables such as broccoli, carrots, collards, potatoes and spinach
5. Low-fat milk, cheese and yogurt
6. Nuts and seeds including almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, and peanut butter
7. Legumes such as kidney beans and lentils
8. Heart-healthy oils like olive oil, canola oil and safflower oil
9. Limited amounts of maple syrup, jelly and sorbet
Foods to Avoid on the DASH Diet
1. Fatty, red meats like bacon, beef, pork, lamb and veal
2. Full-fat dairy products
3. Sugar-sweetened beverages like soda and fruit juice
4. Sweets like candy, cookies and pastries
5. Chips and salted nuts
6. Pre-packaged foods like frozen pasta and rice dishes
7. Fast foods including pizza and French fries
8. Cheese, cream and butter
9. Cold cuts and cured meats
10. White breads, rolls and sandwiches
11. Whole milk
7-Day DASH Diet for Weight Loss Meal Plan
Breakfast: Sweet Potato Oats Waffles | Chef de Home
Snack: Dried Apricots and Almonds
Lunch: Shrimp and Nectarine Salad | Taste of Home
Snack: Carrots and Hummus
Dinner: Veggie Quesadillas with Cilantro Yogurt Dip | The Dash Diet
Breakfast: Peanut Butter Overnight Oats | Minimalist Baker
Snack: Apple with Almond Butter
Lunch: Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos | Best Dash Diet Recipes
Snack: Pears with Cinnamon
Dinner: Sesame Ginger Chicken Stir Fry with Cauliflower Rice | McCormick
Breakfast: Muesli Scones | Elana’s Pantry
Snack: Clementines and Sunflower Seeds
Lunch: Roasted Tofu and Peanut Noodle Salad | Eating Well
Snack: Red Pepper and Hummus
Dinner: DASH Diet Mexican Bake | All Recipes
Breakfast: Southwest Tofu Scramble | Minimalist Baker
Snack: Dried Mango and Pistachios
Lunch: Thai Chicken Pasta Skillet | Taste of Home
Snack: Grapes with Romano Cheese
Dinner: Turkish Red Lentil Stew | Resperate
Breakfast: Healthy Breakfast Cookies | Just a Taste
Snack: Celery with Almond Butter
Lunch: Fresh Shrimp Spring Rolls | The DASH Diet
Snack: Spiced popcorn
Dinner: Easiest Baked Fish | My Fitness Pal
Breakfast: Banana Almond Smoothie | Cookie + Kate
Snack: Apple Slices with Cinnamon
Lunch: DASH Diet Minestrone Soup | All Recipes
Snack: Plum and walnuts
Dinner: Mimi’s Lentil Medley | Taste of Home
Breakfast: Pumpkin Granola Yogurt Parfait | Nutrition in the Kitchen
Snack: 1 cup of raspberries
Lunch: Southwestern Brown Rice Bowl | What’s Gaby Cooking
Snack: Whole wheat pita and hummus
Dinner: Quinoa and Vegetable Stew | Best Dash Diet Recipes
The DASH diet is not only one of the best ways to lower your blood pressure, it can also help you lose weight and live a healthier lifestyle without frustrating restrictions. Follow this 7-day eating plan to get started!
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