Dash Diet Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :


An intake plan, which is intended to reduce the blood pressure, is the DASH. DASH is the short form for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. The DASH diet lowers the blood pressure and thus helps in checking and controlling high blood pressure. The DASH combination diet is full of fruits, vegetables, and low level of fat dairy foods and is low in saturated and total fat. It also has low levels of cholesterol, potassium, high dietary fiber, calcium and magnesium and fairly high amounts of protein. The DASH intake plan is suggested by the NIH's National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute -- NHLBI which says: make use of the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension --DASH intake plan as a guide. DASH recommends to take more of fresh fruits, vegetables and low amounts of fat dairy products, and to restrict saturated fat and salt. The DASH intake plan can help one to reduce weight and preserve a healthy body. Actually, as per the report, going by the DASH intake plan can be as efficient as some medicines in reducing the blood pressure. (Definition DASH diet)

The push of the blood levels against the artery walls is known as blood pressure. It is calculated in millimeters of mercury and noted down as two numbers -- systolic pressure over that of diastolic pressure. Blood pressure increases and reduces at the daytime. But when it is high for over a period of time, then it is known as high blood pressure. High blood pressure is hazardous as it creates the heart work very hard, and the pressure of its blood flow can damage arteries. Usually high blood pressure has no caution signs or indications. Once if it happens, it prolongs for the lifetime. If it is not kept under control, it can result in heart and kidney diseases and eventually to stroke. High blood pressure can be kept under control, if the following steps are taken: keep a healthy weight; be bodily active; pursue a healthy intake plan, which has foods with less of salt and sodium; if you have alcoholic drinks, do so in control; and, if you have high blood pressure and are advised medicines, take it as being directed. Blood pressure can be harmful even if it remains only a little above the most favorable level of less than 120/80 mm Hg. (The DASH Diet)

The health hazard is high when the high blood pressure increases above the optimal. In the earlier days, researchers tried to find indications about what in the diet disturbs blood pressure by trying many single nutrients, like calcium and magnesium. These researches were done mainly with nutritional complements and their results were not definite. Scientists then carried out two key studies with the help of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute -- NHLBI. The first study was known as DASH, for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, and it tried nutrients as they take place with food. The results showed that blood pressure was lowered with an intake plan that was low in saturated fat, cholesterol, and total fat and that includes fruits, vegetables and low fat dairy foods. This intake plan known as the DASH diet has whole grain products, fish, poultry, and nuts and also has less of sweets, red meat and sugar-containing drinks.

DASH diet also has high levels of potassium, calcium, magnesium and high protein and fiber content. A DASH study was done on 459 adults having systolic blood pressures of less than 160 mm Hg and diastolic pressures of about 80 -- 95 mm Hg. Of them, 27% of the participants had hypertension. About 50% were that of women and 60% were African-Americans. DASH contrasted three eating plans: A plan equal in nutrients to what many Americans have; a plan equal to what Americans have but rich in fruits and vegetables; and the DASH diet. All these plans made use of about 3,000 milligrams of sodium every day. Vegetarian or specialty foods were not used for any of the plans. The findings were striking which were that both the fruits and vegetables plan and the DASH diet lowered the blood pressure. But the DASH diet had the supreme effect, mainly for those with high blood pressure. Also, the blood pressure diminutions came quickly, within 2 weeks of commencing the plan. (The DASH Diet)

The second study was known as DASH-Sodium, and it concentrated on the effects of blood pressure of a low dietary sodium intake as participants used either the DASH diet or an eating plan archetypal of what many Americans had. DASH-Sodium had 412 participants. Their systolic blood pressures were that of 120 -- 159 mm Hg and their diastolic blood pressures were in the range of 80 -- 95 mm Hg. Of these, 41% of them had high blood pressure. About 57% were women and about 57% were that of African-Americans. Partakers were haphazardly given one of the two eating plans and then monitored for a month at each of three sodium levels. The three sodium levels were: an increased intake of around 3,300 milligrams daily; an in-between consumption of about 2,400 milligrams daily; and a reduced consumption of about 1,500 milligrams daily.

The findings showed that by lowering dietary sodium reduced blood pressure for both eating plans. At each of the sodium level, blood pressure was low on the DASH diet than in comparison to other eating plan. The greatest blood pressure reductions were for the DASH diet at the sodium consumption of 1,500 milligrams daily. People with hypertension viewed the greatest reductions, but those without it also had huge reductions. Those on the 1,500-milligram sodium consumption and DASH diet had fewer headaches. There were no other major effects created by the two eating plans or various sodium levels. (The DASH Diet)

At times the reasons for high blood pressure cannot be found. Even though the reasons are not clear, the treatment can still prove to be efficient. It is necessary to regulate the diet; preserve a healthy weight; include routine exercise into one's daily schedule of walking 30-40 minutes daily and have medicines as advised. Many medical professionals suggest salt-sensitive persons to restrict salt to 2,000 milligrams daily. They must be careful about concealed salt present in seasonings, condiments, tomato sauces, butter flavorings, and tinned foods. They must clarify with their physicians before having a salt substitute. They must reduce their consumption of high-fat foods, and must have baked foods instead of fried foods. They must reduce their alcohol intake, as this may lead to weakening of the heart muscle and hypertension. They must stick to the DASH diet. The DASH diet was intended to avoid high blood pressure, and it is also low in fat. (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH))

DASH diet on the basis of 2000 kcal a day is as follows: Grains of about 7 to 8 portions per day; Vegetables of about 4 to 5 portions per day; Fruits of about 4 to 5 portions per day; Low fat or Fat-free Dairy of about 2 to 3 portions per day; Meats, poultry & fish of about 2 or less portions per day; Nuts, seeds & dry beans of about 4 to 5 per week; Fats & oils of about 2 to 3 per day; Sweets of about 5 per week. (High Blood Pressure Diet - the DASH Diet)

In a research by the National Institutes of Health, the DASH eating plan has been confirmed to reduce blood pressure without medicines in only about 14 days. The best reactions were from people whose blood pressure was only somewhat high, and those with pre-hypertension. For people with more acute hypertension, who cannot be without medicines, the DASH diet can aid in improving the medication reaction, and reduce blood pressure. The DASH diet reduces cholesterol, and with reducing of weight and including of exercise can lower insulin resistance. (DASH Diet)

The DASH diet is an intake plan that is complete with fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low fat dairy foods. It is also to be low in terms of saturated fat, sodium and total fat. Experts have indicated that blood pressure can be lowered by the intake of foods, which have high potassium and calcium. Potassium is a mineral that aids in preserving heart function. Foods high in potassium are usually suggested for people who take diuretics, which is a medicine used in the cure of high blood pressure. Potassium rich foods also have fiber, vitamins, and minerals, which are helpful for general health. High potassium foods are inclusive of both fresh fruits and fresh or iced up vegetables. Some of the fruits are oranges, apricots, peaches, bananas, cantaloupe, grapefruit, kiwi, and dried fruits. Some of the vegetables that have rich potassium content are spinach and other dark greens, white and sweet potatoes, tomatoes, broccoli, and dried beans. A diet rich in calcium also reduces blood pressure. A diet rich in calcium is also suggested to avoid the vicious bone disease, osteoporosis. The…

Cite This Term Paper:

"Dash Diet" (2005, October 18) Retrieved January 17, 2018, from

"Dash Diet" 18 October 2005. Web.17 January. 2018. <

"Dash Diet", 18 October 2005, Accessed.17 January. 2018,