The DASH diet, or Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension is a diet that was designed with the goal of drastically reducing adherents' dangerously-high blood pressure levels. Specifically, it focuses on cutting out excessive salt intake, as this can make hypertension worse and lead to kidney failure, strokes, blindness, and even heart disease. It can be altered slightly for weight loss goals or to control insulin dependence, but multiple studies have confirmed its effectiveness. Many adherents to the DASH diet have shown drastic improvement within only a few weeks of beginning. There are two versions of this diet: standard and low-sodium. On the standard version, a dieter is carefully restricted to eating only the daily recommended amount of sodium (salt), or about 2,300mg daily. The low-sodium version is much more restrictive and designed for those who are already on medications for hypertension and/or have developed a blood pressure-related disease. The low-sodium DASH diet restricts intake to 1,500mg daily. Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension by author Wendy Jarich is a detailed study and guide on how to stop hypertension by eating the right diet. What the two versions of the diet have in common is that they both encourage reducing your intake of saturated fats, trans fats, and processed foods with excessive sodium. Instead, adherents are encouraged to enjoy lean meats like poultry, fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy. It is not overly-restrictive, as dieters can still enjoy sweets, caffeine, alcohol, and foods with oil in moderation. Instead of using butter and salt to flavor food, DASH diet adherents are taught to use spices and herbs. Adherents are also encouraged to consume fish regularly, since it is naturally low-fat and low-cholesterol and is filled with omega-3 fatty acids for a healthy heart. Listen to Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension by Wendy Jarich to get some more insights.
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