Having made it this far, you may still have questions about the DASH diet. This is natural, and we will examine some of the most common questions.
When Will You Start to See Results?
Most people seek instant gratification, which you should do without a diet! Everyone reacts to a diet differently, so your friend who lost weight in a week on the DASH diet could be a better benchmark. While you may get the same benefits, you may not. It could take longer for you to see the results of this diet.
In terms of hypertension, you must be patient because you will only see short-term results. Persistence is the key when you are on any diet, including DASH. If you stick to the diet, you will see results.
Do You Need to Exercise on the DASH Diet?
A good diet and exercise generally go hand in hand, and the DASH diet is no different. When you pair this diet with practice, it may be more effective at lowering your hypertension. This is common when you consider all the benefits of exercise.
While on the diet, it is recommended that you get 30 minutes of moderate activity every few days. This means you do not have to hit the gym and become obsessed with fitness. Moderate exercise includes:
- Running at a pace of 10 minutes per mile
- Walking briskly at a pace of 15 minutes per mile
- Swimming laps for 20 minutes
- Cycling at a pace of 6 minutes per mile
- Doing 60 minutes of uninterrupted housework
Can You Use the DASH Diet If You Are A Vegetarian?
Considering the diet only allows you six servings or less of meat per week, you can easily use the diet if you do not eat meat. While you are given this serving allowance, it does not mean that you have to have this amount of meat.
If you are cutting meat and fish completely, you will need to substitute it with another source of protein. As a vegetarian, you may already be used to doing this. Instead of having meat, you can eat beans, chickpeas, and other protein-rich foods. Of course, you must check that they are low in sodium.
What If You Feel Sick After Starting the Diet?
When you change your diet, you may not feel right for the first few days. However, if you notice a significant change in your health, you must stop the diet and return to your old way of eating. You should also go and see a doctor because there could be an underlying problem that is causing the illness.
You could face other issues telling you your DASH diet could be more balanced. If your hair seems thinning, you could lack iron, and you need to up the foods with this nutrient. This can happen if you cut too many beans and legumes from your diet.
How Do You Season Your Food Without Salt?
DASH is reducing your sodium, which means no additional salt. This causes many people to wonder how they will season their food if they cannot use the standard salt and pepper. Well, there are many other ways you can do this.
There are a lot of herbs and spices that you can use instead. What you use will vary depending on what you will be making.
Are you making some fish? Instead of salt, you can use a bay leaf or some paprika. Parsley, dill, and onion will also flavor the fish. Lemon juice is good to use if you are having white fish. If you are having salmon, try olive oil and garlic only because the fish has its flavor.
If you are making beef, consider using some basil or green pepper. Your handy bay leaf can also help, as can some dry mustard. Some other herbs and spices to look at are rosemary, thyme, and nutmeg.
When making poultry, you should try paprika, basil, or saffron. Parsley and tarragon will also make the poultry taste great. Poultry seasoning can also be bought from most stores, but you must check the sodium content.
When making some pork, add some allspice or sage. Cinnamon can also bring out the flavors of pork along with garlic. Try some ginger, which works well with pork.
How Long Can You Stay on the DASH Diet?
Since the DASH diet was created to help with hypertension, you can stay on it longer than others. However, there are some points that you need to consider with long-term use of the DASH diet.
If you have tailored your meal plan to a calorie deficit, you must be careful with long-term use. You want to continue a calorie-restricted diet for as long as necessary. Once you have lost the weight you want from the diet, you must up the calories. Refrain from ingesting fewer calories than you burn will cause problems.
You can become too thin and start to lose weight that you cannot afford to. Long-term reduction of calories can also lead to weaker bones. This is an issue because it is irreversible and will increase the risk of bone fractures.
You do not have to worry about this if you have not restricted the calories on your DASH diet meal plan. You can stay on the diet for your whole life without any issues. Of course, you should talk to your doctor about this and ensure it would be a good idea for you.
Can You Eat Out?
If you like going to restaurants, you will find it more challenging when on the DASH diet. As you need to know what you are eating and understand the servings, you could be limited with what you have. Many restaurant foods will have higher sodium levels than the food you make at home.
This does not mean eating out is canceled for the rest of your life. You have to be more discerning when it comes to what you order. You may also have to ask about how the food is prepared.