Now, you know that the DASH diet is for people with Hypertension, and you know how it will help. You should learn more about how exactly it will help your health and some of the other benefits.
DASH does not only affect your blood pressure. Studies have been done that look into the other potential benefits for your overall health. These additional benefits can increase the number of reasons why you should be DASHing.
Based on the name of the diet, Hypertension is the health issue it focuses on. Blood pressure is the force to move all your blood around your body. There are two types of pressure that you must be aware of.
The first is systolic pressure, which is the pressure when your heart beats. Diastolic pressure is the pressure in the blood vessels between your heartbeats or when your heart is at rest.
Ideally, you want a systolic pressure of less than 120 mmHg and a diastolic pressure below 80 mmHg. When your blood pressure is taken, this reading will generally be written as systolic over diastolic, such as 120/80. If you have a task of 140/90, you have Hypertension.
A study published in the journal Hypertension found that following the DASH diet for eight weeks lowered systolic pressure by six mmHg and diastolic by three mmHg in people with pre-hypertension. This lowering of blood pressure can reduce the risks associated with Hypertension and stop it from worsening.
Another study looked into the effect of the DASH diet on people considered healthy. In this study, people with normal blood pressure saw a reduction of systolic pressure of 4 mmHg and diastolic of 2 mmHg.
The studies that used the DASH diet with reduced sodium levels saw the best results in lowering blood pressure. However, some studies found DASH could lower blood pressure without restricting salt intake.
Of course, one point must be considered when looking at DASH and Hypertension. A study published in 2014 found that the decrease in blood pressure from the DASH diet does not automatically translate into a reduction in the risk of heart disease.
Most people who look at diets are looking to lose weight. DASH was not created with weight loss in mind, and the reduction of Hypertension can be achieved even if you do not lose weight on the diet. However, if you do have Hypertension, you could probably lose a bit of weight to get everything under control.
If DASH was not created for weight loss, would it help you lose weight?
Yes, but only if you use it correctly.
This is due to many of the nutritional factors that impact blood pressure also affecting your weight. One study from 2016 found that adults following the DASH diet lost more weight over 8 to 24 weeks than those on other calorie-restricted diets. While this is good news for your waistline, you must know how to get these benefits.
DASH cuts out many of the wrong foods that make you gain weight, like high-fat and sugary foods. This will often make you reduce your caloric intake automatically as you are not eating empty calories. This will result in weight loss for most people but only for some.
There are a lot of people who must restrict their caloric intake while on the DASH diet. This means getting to a calorie deficit where you expend more calories than you eat. Doing this does complicate the diet a bit, so you need to watch what you eat more.
It is essential to note that DASH will not melt the pounds off. You will have to make some lifestyle changes if you want these results.
Other Potential Benefits
Reducing Hypertension is the main benefit, while weight loss is a side benefit of this diet. There are also a few other potential health benefits that you should know about. Not all of these benefits are ones you can get when you use this diet. If you need these benefits, you should talk to a doctor and see if other more focused solutions exist.
One of these additional benefits is a potential reduction in the risks of metabolic syndrome. Do you remember metabolic syndrome? That collection of issues that causes a whole lot of problems for your metabolism?
Some studies have found that DASH can help to reduce the risks of this by up to 81%. That is a significant reduction and was seen in both adults and children. One study examined children and adolescents aged 6 to 18 and found a relationship between the DASH diet and reduced metabolic syndrome.
Another potential benefit is a reduction in the risk of diabetes. DASH has been linked to a lower risk of type 2 diabetes. Some studies have also found that the diet can help with insulin resistance. The reduction of sugary processed foods could be the reason behind this.
If you are female, you could also see a reduction in the risks of heart disease. One study in Nutrition found that women on the DASH diet had a 20% lower risk of heart disease. This study also found that these women had a 29% lower risk of stroke.
Doing what you can for our physical health is essential, but you must also consider your mental health. What you eat is more significant in your mood than you may imagine. Recent studies have also suggested that DASH can help with your spirit.
The new pioneering study was presented at the 70th annual American Academy of Neurology meeting. The study had 964 participants evaluated for six and a half years. They were monitored for signs of depression during this time.
The results showed that the DASH diet participants were less likely to develop signs of depression. The researchers feel the connection is in the vitamins and nutrients you get with the diet. As these minerals are the basis for chemicals in the body, they will affect your mood.
There are a lot of different benefits that you can potentially get with the DASH diet. Reducing Hypertension is the primary one because this is what the diet was created to do. You could also see a reduction in weight because of cutting out certain foods.
There are other potential benefits that you can also get related to your metabolism and mental health. However, more studies need to be done on these additional benefits before anyone can clearly state that you will get them from this diet. If Hypertension is not your primary concern, you should talk to your doctor about other diets that could give you the desired results.