Curing Hypertension With The Dash Diet Or Just Another Fad?

batman and robin using the dash dietDid you know that hypertension is said to affect over 55 million people in U.S. and over 1 billion people worldwide?

Yet another “effective” condition..

Historically, hypertension was called the “hard pulse disease” and it’s a nasty condition that gives the patient high risk of stroke, myocardial infarction, aneurysm, arterial disease and also chronic kidney disease.

Through the history, the treatments used to “cure” this condition consisted in procedures that tried to reduce the quantity of blood by the application of leeches (nasty, I know) and these treatments were advocated by Galen, Hippocrates, the Yellow Emperor of China and Cornelius Celsus.

Before the 19-20 century when different pharmacological treatments appeared, this condition was mostly treated by sodium restriction, injection of certain substances that caused fever and surgical operations on nervous system.

Because nowadays, every kind of condition on earth tries to find a certain “diet”, we also have one for this condition.

Introducing The Dash Diet

Each of the letters from the word DASH means something

  • D – dietary
  • A – approach
  • S – stop
  • H – hypertension

This diet was mainly designed to be a “healthy” eating diet that tried to prevent high blood pressure by eating certain foods that were high in nutrients that allow your body to fight hypertension, nutrients like calcium, potassium, magnesium.

The Dash Diet Deconstructed

This diet is basically a sodium restricting diet in which you are allowed to eat fruits, low-fat dairy foods and vegetables with various amounts of fish, nuts, whole grains and poultry.

There are two main versions of the dash diet:

  1. Lower sodium DASH diet in which you can consume up to 2.300 mg of sodium every day
  2. Standard DASH diet in which you can consume up to 1500 mg of sodium every day

As you can see, both versions of this diet try to reduce sodium intake under 3000 which tries to keep the standard recommendation of the dietary guidelines for Americans which is a daily sodium intake of lower than 2.3000 mg.

While the dash diet wasn’t invented with the specific purpose of helping people lose weight, it is widely used as a weight loss diet because of its “healthy” food choices.

It is a ~2000 calories/day diet but it can be easily adjusted into a weight loss diet if you lower that caloric intake.

What To Eat On The Dash Diet

You can eat vegetables, fruits, whole grains, dairy products that are low in fat, poultry, legumes and fish.

I won’t really go in details on what to specifically eat on this diet because the conclusion is still the same and it will save you from wasting time to figure out what foods to eat or whatever.

There are plenty of menus around, you just need to search them although, you’ll soon find out that you don’t really need any “dash diet meal plans”.

I almost forgot: you are not allowed to drink alcohol (pretty self explanatory because alcohol increases your blood pressure and if you have problems with hypertension this can be a “game changer”).

The End Of Hypertension?

What I can see here, is just a normal eating pattern that was intelligently transformed in just another diet for the internet from which people could profit.

I can see plenty of products ranging from diet plans, supplements and other services.

So, this diet is just another gimmick?

I can’t even call it a diet because it is basically a recommendation of what foods to eat and how to lower sodium intake.

You can pretty much achieve all of the supposed “benefits” of the dash diet just by changing your eating habits and start eating legumes, vegetables, foods lower in sodium, avoid eating too much salt and restrict your caloric intake to around or under 2000 calories/day.

Problem solved.

If you are looking for a fat loss diet (note – I said fat loss NOT weight loss because you only want to lose fat), I made a top of the books that will actually teach you something these diets can’t: how to properly lose fat. You can find them here.

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